I read the Jan. 12 Metro article “Advocates decry order to clear homeless from underpass” with anger and dismay. As a resident of NoMa who walks through the K Street underpass every day on my way to work, I am disappointed that Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s administration is permanently kicking my neighbors living in tents out of the area. While the encampments are not ideal for anyone, they are a symptom of an underlying system that is broken, and forcing people to leave with no housing alternatives will only make their situation worse. The trauma my neighbors will go through in having their access to shelter denied greatly outweighs my minor inconvenience of having a narrow walkway. 

It is important that we who live in NoMa acknowledge that there is a severe shortage of affordable housing in the District and that the gentrification of this neighborhood and others like it has made that problem worse. Those of us fortunate enough to be able to live in fancy new apartment buildings have an obligation to advocate for real solutions.

My ideal NoMa neighborhood is not a picture-perfect corporate utopia but rather a community that is inclusive, accessible and welcoming to all. I urge Ms. Bowser to treat all people living in NoMa with compassion and dignity, and to stop these dehumanizing “out of sight, out of mind” policies in favor of solutions that provide better alternatives for those living in encampments while addressing the root causes of homelessness.

Miranda Ehrlich, Washington