Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC
Andrea is currently one of the thirteen remaining residents of a soon to be demolished tent encampment located just North of Union Station in Washington, DC. More about that here. Andrea has been homeless and living on the street for a relatively short period of time, less than six months by her recollection. The details as to what led to this situation are a little murky but the fact remains, Andrea is living in a tent on the sidewalk. Since the city will be sweeping or cleaning the area soon and without further notice, Andrea will be forced to move or lose all of her belongings. She says she has scouted out a few spots nearby where she can relocate her tent until the city does another sweep.Andrea is an articulate, well-spoken woman who says she has skills as a hair stylist and a makeup artist. She was previously living and working in a neighboring jurisdiction but ended up with no job and no place to live. Forcing her to seek shelter in DC. I cannot attest to the veracity of these details but the fact remains Andrea is living in a tent on the streets of Washington, DC. She is aware of services for the homeless in the city and utilizes those for taking a shower and getting food. Hopefully, she will get connected with some outreach services and a more comprehensive case management system that will work towards permanent housing. For me, Andrea is an example of how quickly and totally a normally functioning person's life can spiral out of control and put them on the street without shelter or any support system. The tragedy of this is that this may just be the beginning of Andrea's downward spiral unless there is some intervention to stop it from happening. If you see Andrea or know someone like her, just stop for a moment and say hello. Perhaps ask if there is anything you can reasonably do to help. I guarantee you'll both be the better for the experience.