The mayor of Washington, DC, appears to have initiated a fresh conflict with lawmakers following her assertion regarding the quantity of homeless individuals in the city, which was deemed unsubstantiated. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) maintains that there are slightly over 200 homeless individuals in the capital. However, alternative estimates, including those from her own staff, suggest a significantly larger number.
During her appearance before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee on May 16, Mayor Bowser addressed the issue of homelessness in Washington, DC. Representative William Timons (R-SC) posed a question, inquiring whether she acknowledged it as a significant problem in the city. Surprisingly, Bowser’s response left the committee astounded, as she asserted that only 221 individuals reside on the streets of the capital.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says there are only 221 homeless people in Washington. pic.twitter.com/eWNlEYfCZI— Anders Hagstrom (@Hagstrom_Anders) May 16, 2023
Without delay, Timmons raised doubts about the mentioned figure, informing the mayor that a city councilman had shared a report, prepared by Bowser’s own staff, which stated that the actual number of homeless individuals is approximately 5,000. Despite this, Bowser vehemently denied the accuracy of the report. At this juncture, Timmons challenged her assertion by stating, “There are 221 people residing under [Interstate] 395,” and urged her to verify the situation personally. Nevertheless, the mayor remained steadfast in her claims, emphasizing the presence of outreach teams throughout the city and insisting that her numbers were indeed precise.
Indeed, in 2022, Bowser’s office issued a press release asserting that the number of homeless individuals in the city had decreased compared to the previous year, reaching 4,410. However, according to The Community Partnership, a nonprofit organization that operates homeless shelters in Washington, DC, the actual count stands at 4,877, encompassing families with children as well.
Irrespective of Bowser’s statements, homelessness appears to pose a significant challenge for cities governed by Democrats. San Francisco serves as a prominent example, as it is rapidly becoming uninhabitable due to the presence of extensive homeless encampments and open-air drug markets. Additionally, New York City faces substantial numbers of homeless individuals, reaching nearly 69,000. While some level of homelessness is present in any city, the issue seems to be spiraling out of control in these Democratic-led urban areas.