Locals raise funds for burial of man who died at homeless encampment near campus

Locals are gathering donations to fund the burial of a homeless man who died at an encampment near campus earlier this month.

The man, referred to as Karim, passed away at the E Street encampment across the street from the Elliott School of International Affairs earlier this month, according to a tweet last Wednesday. The fund has raised more than $1,500 from 44 donors so far, with a goal of reaching $1,800.

Qaadir El-Amin, the fundraiser’s organizer, posted an update on the GoFundMe page last Friday, thanking donors for their support and contributions.

“Thank you all so much,” El-Amin said on the site. “When I try to explain what community means, this is it. All of the love and support for my family just fuels me to find better and more ways to help people that need it. Thank you all for being a blessing from God.”

El-Amin did not return a request for comment.

Students have fought to protect the residents at the E Street encampment for years, most recently helping them clear out their belongings as city workers cut down a tree and scattered wood pellets across their settlement earlier this fall.

Washington City Paper reported that 75 individuals experiencing homelessness have passed away in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the public health inequity plaguing the city’s already vulnerable population. This year’s total marks a slight decrease from 2019, when 81 unhoused individuals passed away.

The District plans to cut funding for homeless services, which could make local nonprofits less capable of aiding the homeless population in the city, DCist reported earlier this month.

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