Photo of Trump on a podium pointing his finger.
Photo courtesy of Flickr

It is simply untrue that people are no longer living on the streets in D.C. like the president claimed in his July 1 interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News. 

Where is Trump getting his information? 

Trump has done nothing for the local homeless community since he took office more than two years ago. He can’t take credit from the Obama administration, which crafted the country’s first comprehensive strategy for ending homelessness

[Read More: Street Sense Media Executive Director Brian Carome and Artist/Vendor Reginald Black respond to comments by President Trump]

Trump’s Hotel, which used to be the Old Post Office, had a lot of people that were homeless near the building.  But, Trump didn’t take care of the problem of homelessness around the building. What he did was to have police make sure that homeless people weren’t sleeping on nearby benches. 

Many of the people we are seeing on the street in D.C. are from other states. I met someone from Florida earlier this year! Isn’t that Trump’s favorite state to play golf and vacation in? One county there, southeast of Orlando, spent $5 million of taxpayer funds in 10 years to repeatedly jail 37 homeless individuals for offenses such as sleeping in public and panhandling. Some cities in Florida even outlaw giving food to homeless people!

People come to D.C. for services not offered elsewhere and because we don’t criminalize daily life as badly as other places do. Trump could learn from us. But he hasn’t done anything for the homeless in Washington, D.C.

Aida Peery is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media. Her opinion writing was recognized with the Best Commentary and Criticism for a Weekly Newspaper award by the D.C. chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists.