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Have You Experienced Homelessness? Do You Work With People Who Have? Tell Us About Encampment Removals.

We’re investigating what happens when local agencies remove homeless encampments and take belongings from the people living in them — an increasingly common practice across the country.

Illustration by Matt Rota for ProPublica

We are reporters at ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization. We write stories that hold powerful institutions accountable. This year, we’re investigating what happens when local agencies take belongings from people experiencing homelessness during sweeps. (Cities use terms like “abatements” and “cleanings” to describe this practice, but dozens of people who have experience with this issue said the practice is commonly described as sweeps.)

Across the country in recent years, cities have been conducting these more often. We’ve spoken to people who have lost valuable possessions, like notes from loved ones, tents and IDs. Sweeps can make it harder to stay on medications and send more people to the hospital.

To get this story right, we need to hear from:

  • People who have personal experience with having a belonging taken during a sweep.
  • People with insight into this issue, including front-line workers or volunteers, city contractors, researchers or regulators.

Filling out the form below will help us get back to you quickly. But we know filling out forms isn’t for everyone. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get in touch. You can also reach us by:

We also plan to do on-the-ground outreach in several cities over the next few months. If you’re interested, you can help us spread the word about our work by sharing this flyer.

What we’ll do with your story: We appreciate you sharing and we take your privacy seriously. We ask for details to help us make our reporting as accurate and fair as possible. We will contact you if we wish to publish any part of your story.

Our stories will be published on our website, which is free to read, and may appear in other publications. We will send you updates as we publish if you’d like.

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