While walking into the DC is OUR Home rally over the weekend, the first things I saw were the drawings and words of local children about why housing is important to them. These messages of feeling safe, warm, free and comfortable immediately reminded me of what we were all there for – people.
The room quickly filled with DC residents of all ages, local politician
s, nonprofits and other housing supporters gathered for this CNHED Housing For All Campaign demonstration. The room was abuzz as people spoke of the incredible impact that safe, stable and affordable housing has had on their lives.
Carlita Walker, a resident of the Fort View apartments (an apartment complex co-developed by THC and the Somerset
Development Company) spoke candidly about her housing challenges.
“In 2007, after 18 years, my husband passed away. He was my rock and the breadwinner for our household. I had nowhere to turn. My children were there for me emotionally, but I could not expect them to help me financially, when they are just starting out. Not wanting to be a burden and with no place to stay, I entered into the homeless system.”
After moving through transitional housing, Carlita was selected to be recipient of the Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP), a local subsidy that allows extremely low income residents to have affordable rent.
“I am so proud to call Fort View home and not be a weight on my family. In the last few years, I had many health complications including heart disease and diabetes. These conditions have taken a toll on my body and I am so happy to have the privacy of my own home to deal with recovering peacefully. Even with these problems, I feel so grateful. I believe that I am fortunate and am so glad that I have a stable environment to be able to give back to the community.”
Through the stability of affordable housing, Carlita and many others across DC have been able to lead the lives they want to live. The DC is Our Home rally was a powerful reminder of the transformative nature of permanent housing in the lives of children, parents, veterans and all people.
As Councilmember-At-Large, Elissa Silverman said, “Housing isn’t a gift, it’s our responsibility.”
Learn more about the Housing For All Campaign at cnhed.org and make sure to follow THC’s advocacy efforts on our blog!
Event Photos by Justin T. Gellerson