(WMR) -- They were always seen by all who passed by, broke and idle in
a number of Washington, DC, parks and grassy nooks. After 9/11, however, they
began to disappear and in large numbers. �They� were the familiar faces of
From Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the
White House, to Virginia Avenue across from the State Department, and Franklin
Square, amid the city�s glass and steel towers housing DC�s power elite to tony
Georgetown, many homeless people, both those truly down on their luck and those
who were mentally ill, began to disappear.
As one Washington homeless advocate told this editor, �These
people simply vanished.�
The disappearance of homeless people from the streets of
Washington began under the administration of Mayor Anthony Williams and
continues in force under that of Adrian Fenty. Both African-American mayors,
Democrats but beholden to deep-pocketed land developers in a city that rarely
elects Republicans to office, began to quietly make it tougher for the homeless
to survive in the nation�s capital. Last year, Fenty announced that the
Franklin School Shelter at 13th an K Streets would be phased out, leaving the
homeless residents of that shelter little choice but to move to the streets.
Last August, a number of homeless activists picketed Fenty�s
home over the plans to close the Franklin shelter. WMR was told by one
spokesperson for the homeless that one of the protesters, John McDermott, has
also now �vanished.� The spokesperson added that there are many cases of people
known to live on the streets of Washington simply �disappearing� without a
Some major cities, including New York and Atlanta, have
been discovered to be �dumping� their homeless residents on other smaller towns
and cities. Others threaten their homeless with prison unless they leave town
with usually a one-way bus ticket provided.
However, there is no evidence that Washington, DC, has been
dumping homeless on other cities or paying their transportation out of town.
The homeless spokesperson interviewed by WMR said that DC�s homeless are simply
�vanishing� without a trace. DC officials in charge of the homeless
are very tight-lipped when asked about the fate of unaccounted for
homeless in the city.
Although the best-case scenario is that these unfortunate
people have, in fact, been relocated to other areas, the spokesman ended the
interview on a chilling note. He said with federal camps and a high demand for
any usable body parts by the lucrative transplant industry, he feared the worst
may have befallen some of DC�s �invisible residents.�
in the Wayne Madsen Report.
Copyright � 2009 WayneMadenReport.com
Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and
nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report