City cites safety concerns in clearing homeless encampment

WASHINGTON (AP) — A homeless encampment underneath an overpass in Washington, D.C. has been cleared for the last time, according to officials in the nation's capital.

People living on K Street were forced out Thursday morning, news outlets reported. The encampment was cleared because tents and other items made it difficult for pedestrians to walk on the sidewalks, city officials said.

A man sometimes referred to as the underpass's “mayor” said he understands why the homeless people have been told to leave.

“Since some people were disrespectful with the location of their tents or lawn chairs, people weren't able to move about the sidewalk freely and safely,” Mike Harris told WTOP-FM.

Any items left behind Thursday were trashed and then crews power-washed the sidewalks, according to news outlets.

“Tents and living in tents is not permitted in the District of Columbia, and it's not safe for the inhabitant,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said last week, The Washington Post reported. “It's also not safe for the surrounding community.”

City leaders said there are enough resources locally to help homeless people. Workers will return to K Street to make sure tents don't reappear, said Wayne Turnage, Washington, D.C. deputy mayor for health and human services.

Places in this Story

People in the Story