Residents react as their tent city is dismantled; ‘I just want to survive’

Homelessness is a nationwide concern, but is especially prevalent in Washington D.C. Last week, near the affluent neighborhood of Georgetown, city officials dismantled a tent city that had sprouted up under a freeway underpass. NewsHour looks at some of those homeless individuals’ reactions.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Homelessness remains a nationwide concern and it is especially prevalent in the nation`s capital.

    Last week, not far from the historic Watergate Hotel and near the affluent neighborhood of Georgetown, city officials dismantled a tent city that sprouted up this year under a freeway overpass.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    The district`s health and human services division declared the area unsanitary, unsafe, and unlawful. After issuing notices of eviction, the city they gave the choice to voluntarily move off the property with belongings or the city would forcefully remove them and dispose of their possessions. Most decided to remain on the streets.

  • JABAR RASHAD CONQUEST, Former Tent City Resident:

    We didn`t plan for this, you know? I use this tent to sleep in. I get up and go to work just like everybody else. I pay taxes just like everybody else. It's just I don't make enough money to get me an apartment.

    What actually am I doing that`s harming the community? Is it just because ya'll just don't like to see tents out in the community or whatever?

    SANM "SLIM" GOURINEY, Former Tent City Resident: Everywhere you go, there`s no place to live. I`m not here to harm nobody. I just want to survive and live better life. But it`s getting harder, especially with no home left.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Officials offered to locate the homeless to various housing programs, like shelters and apartments around the city, as well as store the belongings too bulky for the residents to carry.