I walk down the 1400 block of R Street NW a few times a day. For the last 6-8 months I’ve noticed an older, dark conversion van parked just outside the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church. It is always in the exact same spot. I’ve suspected that people are actually living in the van because the windows are always covered and there are often cigarette butts, empty beer cans, charcoal ash, and garbage strewn about the sidewalk localized to the van.
On Sunday I walked by with my dog and saw three men sitting with the doors open in folding camping chairs. They had a small campfire grill on the sidewalk (which explains the ash) and were playing loud music and drinking. They clearly made it a semi-permanent home because they’d also set up a green open-air canopy tent and attached it to their van.
It raises a few questions in my mind, including: has anyone else noticed this? How has it been allowed to go on for so long? Are they affiliated with “Hope and a Home” just down the street? Any thoughts are appreciated.”