After years of neglect, it seems federal and city officials are finally removing the homeless encampments littered across Washington, DC.

Earlier this year, homeless people were cleared from areas outside of Union Station ahead of President Joe Biden's address to the nation from the historic train hall and bus depot. Within the past month, the National Park Service also cleared encampments from Scott Circle.

The removals are part of a longer-term plan by the National Park Service. The NPS will be enforcing its "no-camping regulation" across the nation's capital, with the goal of having all encampments on...

After years of neglect, it seems federal and city officials are finally removing the homeless encampments littered across Washington, DC.

Earlier this year, homeless people were cleared from areas outside of Union Station ahead of President Joe Biden’s address to the nation from the historic train hall and bus depot. Within the past month, the National Park Service also cleared encampments from Scott Circle.

The removals are part of a longer-term plan by the National Park Service. The NPS will be enforcing its “no-camping regulation” across the nation’s capital, with the goal of having all encampments on national park land cleared by the end of 2023.

Removals will be done in coordination with DC social services so that the homeless people who are displaced can access drug and mental health treatments as well as temporary and long-term housing.

On Friday, the NPS removed a tent city at Fort Reno Park, much to the chagrin of local activists who showed up to protest the “evictions”.

Fort Reno Park is named after the historic Fort Reno, the only place in DC that saw combat during the Civil War. Recently, the park has been partially occupied by a group of homeless people, who received notice in the past couple of weeks that their camp would be moved. Left-wing activists immediately began distributing flyers, including on social media, urging DC residents to call and complain to the Rock Creek National Park Service — which has jurisdiction over Fort Reno Park — and DC congresswoman Eleanor Norton Holmes.

“Tell NPS to STOP the Fort Reno encampment eviction,” a flyer posted by Reddit user Comrade_Rybin said. Comrade_Rybin also referred to the homeless squatters as “park residents”.

“Park residents are being evicted with only a week’s notice during hypothermia season as temperatures begin to plummet. Call Rock Creek Park NPS and Eleanor Holmes Norton and demand this dangerous and inhumane eviction be stopped.”

DC residents in the comments said they had been “harassed” by members of the encampment, questioned how staying in the park rather than being placed in a shelter would protect the homeless from hypothermia, and noted that if they similarly broke park rules by staying after dark, they would too be removed.

When Comrade_Rybin insisted that the homeless people had been “cleaning and maintaining” the park, another user replied, “Between the used needles, condoms and general trash (plus piles of human shit and piss) there’s absolutely no way anyone could actually think they’re cleaning and maintaining the park.”

“What’s inhumane and dangerous is allowing people, many with untreated mental illnesses, to live in a tent encampment in the middle of winter,” one user replied to the flyer.

The National Park Service confirmed to The Spectator in an email Monday that the park was closed after “numerous” reports of criminality and violence stemming from the homeless community at Fort Reno Park.

“The United States Park Police reported numerous instances of criminal activity and violence related to the encampment at Fort Reno, and closing the encampment allowed the NPS to ensure the safety of the general public and those living in the encampment,” a spokesperson said.

The NPS removed the homeless encampment at Fort Reno Park this past Friday despite the presence of activists affiliated with “Stop the Sweeps DC”, which live tweeted the “evictions”.

Stop the Sweeps claimed on its account that homeless people throughout the city are frequently removed from encampments without being offered alternative places to stay. However, the NPS told The Spectator that the homeless are referred to social services when they are cleared from public property. Members of the DC Department of Health and Human Services, for example, were present at Friday’s removal of tents at Fort Reno Park to help the four people who were displaced find shelter and longer-term housing.

“Social service organizations are working with two individuals to provide access to cold-weather shelters until they are provided with permanent housing,” the NPS explained. “The other two individuals are working with additional social service organizations to receive longer-term transitional housing.”

The NPS acknowledged that they have received both complaints about the hazards posed by the homeless encampments, as well as concerns about the safety of the encampment dwellers. However, the organization said, the presence of activists at Fort Reno Park on Friday did not impede their efforts to clear the area of campers.