The Community for Creative Non-Violence yesterday made a formal eight-point demand that the city start providing additional and moe accessible night shelter for homeless "street people" by Sunday or face unspecified "direct action" by the radical Christian group.
The demands-largely a reiteration of informal demands by CCNV during its recent occupation of a portion of the National Visitor Center as a makeshift shelter for scores of derelicts and street wanderers-were made during a 90 minute meeting with Albert Russo, director of the D.C. Department of Human Resources, and other welfare agency officials.
Russo did not indicate yesterday whether he would bow to the demands. He set another meeting with CCNV for 5 p.m. Firday at which he said he would give "our specific position on each of these eight points."
A key demand is elimination of all "restrictions on the admittance of guests" to city-run emergency shelters including identification and income verification. CCNV contends many hard-core street people-some of them chronic alcoholics and emotionally impaired persons-are intimidated by bureaucratic red tape at the shelters. DHR officials say some minimal controls are necessary for the safety of tneants and accountability of funds.
Other CCNV demands include elimination of mandatory showers for tenants, an increase in staffing and bed space, establixhment of three decentralized pickup points in the city for trnaporting homeless people to shelters and creation of an "oversight committee" of local residents, street people and "others" to monitor the city shelter program.
DHR officials said privately yesterday that elimination of identification requirements and other screening procedures would be difficult, especially since some are set by federally mandated regulations.
CCNV has contended the regulations turn many street people away and may cause some to die fo exposure on the streets this winter. In a media campaign to dramatize the plight of the homeless, CCNV recently led scores of uninvited street people into the National Visitor Center adjacent to Union Station in a nine-day takeover until they were blocked by polic Saturday.
Forty-two arrests of CCNV members and supporters were made during subsequent protests. Nine protesters have pleaded guilty to unlawful entry charges and received suspended sentences. The others are awaiting trial.