The Van Ness homeless encampment at 4250 Connecticut Avenue will be removed by the city on Wednesday, May 27th.
Encampment removals are a cross-agency effort that spring into action once the deputy mayor for Health and Human Services receives a report from the Department of Human Services and Department of Behavioral Health. These agencies send staff who determine what services the residents need and complete an assessment. If the site is determined to be a formal encampment, the countdown to removal begins.
Signs are posted giving two weeks’ notice to the people living there.
During that two-week period, staff from the Department of Public Works, the Metropolitan Police Department and the above agencies continue the engagement process to ensure the residents are provided needed services. The day of the cleanup, the residents are offered the opportunity to place the items they wish to keep in storage. Allowed items include a tent, a functional bicycle, and anything that fits inside two 40 gallon storage containers. The residents have access to free storage space for up to 60 days.
Any items the residents have not removed themselves are removed from the location and, for the most part, disposed of. Exceptions include medications, personal photos and important personal documents. More information about this process can be found here.
Encampments have appeared and been removed at 4250 Connecticut Avenue before. The January 2019 removal is but one case. UDC, which now owns the building, will place large planters in the alcoves immediately after the Wednesday cleanup.