Homeless encampments

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Stop the Sweeps PDX rally, 12/20/19. photo by Cory Elia

this article is part of the Village Buildings book / article collection. 

"Cities, suburban communities, and rural areas across the United States have seen in recent years the rise of groups of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness together. The term encampment is widely used by journalists and researchers to describe these groups, but other terms include tent cities, homeless settlements, and homeless camps. Although their existence is not unprecedented, media reports suggest that the number of encampments has increased sharply in recent years." - HUD 2019 report [Cohen et al 2019]. 

'Encampment' has become a commonly and officially used term in the U.S., though often used without definition, and tending to suggest transitory and illegitimatized situations, since camping in public space is often prohibited in US cities and 'encampments' have been described as unsatisfactory conditions in official materials such as reports of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Contents

(1) Alternative terms and possibilities[edit]

Terms which may be chosen by advocates or officials as less pejorative, illegitimizing, or controversial include 'village,' 'safe area', 'rest area', 'safe sleeping [area]', 'settlement,' or even just 'camp' which unlike 'encampment' has many common non-pejorative uses; etc. Or combinations of these terms, such as officially designated "Safe Sleeping VIllage"(s) created in San Francisco in May 2020.

In some cases, this choice of term may reflect and signal an authorization under which the settlement is operating: for example, in Portland, Right 2 Dream Too residents and supporters often deliberately refer to their location as a "rest area" because it is authorized as a campground under state law, similarly to highway rest stops. Residents, supporters and observers may also choose to avoid 'camp' or 'encampment' because the site may be non-temporary (e.g. with Dignity Village, or Emerald Village) or aspiring to be. Or, residents/supporters may employ a name intended to define themselves as a community or organization not necessarily fixed in one location: Right 2 Dream Too's web site states, "We are a nonprofit organization operating a space.."

In the context of the Village Buildings book project, we see 'encampments' as a common but contested, often incautiously or tendentiously used term that tends to conflate and illegitimize a diverse range of dwelling situations, and which is often not the term people dwelling in these sitautions themselves use. Also, the usage tends to obscure what may be positive potentialities of the situation, such as marginalized people's solidarity, creativity, agency and self-determination, political organizing and expression, self-building, mobility, and the possibility of incremental development of site, community, or dwellings into permanence. 

(2) Studies[edit]

Pre-1980s history in the US[edit]

Persistent, informal, houseless camps have been widespread in the United States at various previous times, particularly from the post-Civil War (1865) to ca.1900, and during the Great Depression ca.1929 until late 1930s. In many cases, camps from the 1980s have arisen particularly in areas that were major camp areas in those previous eras; for example, the South of Market area of San Francisco. They are commonly in relatively concealed or non-residential urban areas, that are near railroad corridors and railyards, bodies of water, and/or services such as boarding houses and relief agencies. After the Civil War, many of the people that would now be called 'homeless' were migratory or seasonal workers who rode railroad freight trains to travel or worked; so camp sites (often called 'jungles' in 19th & early 20th Centuries) tended to develop in sheltered areas near trainyards or stations, or where trains could more safely be boarded.

In Portland, two of the areas where homeless camps have been most publicized and controversial in recent years are in the Overlook area, on the bluffs above the major central East Side train yards / docks (where Hazelnut Grove camp/village is), and in North Portland's Peninsula Corridor along the train corridor going from downtown to the Columbia River rail bridge.

"Tent Cities in America: Pacific Coast" (NCH, 2010)[edit]

National Coalition for the Homeless (2010). Tent Cities in America: A Pacific Coast Report."

Prefatory quote:

“Tent Cities are American’s de facto waiting room for affordable and accessible housing. The idea of someone living in a tent (or other encampment) in this country says little about the decisions made by those who dwell within and so much more about our nation’s inability to adequately respond to those in need.”
  -Neil Donovan, Executive Director, National Coalition for the Homeless

from intro:

"Tent Cities in America, A Pacific Coast Report lays the groundwork for:
• Understanding the diversity and conditions under which tent cities are created
• Comparing various levels of community acceptance, regulation, and governance
• Advocating safe, legal, and effective methods and practices of encampment."

While the report overall describes a number of clearly unsatisfactory situations, it notably singles out and features at the start of report, Portland, Oregon's Dignity Village as being set apart by its permanent site, high degree of self-governance, and status as a national/international model:

" • Est. 2000 (Legally Recognized in 2001)
• Population: 60
• Location: Public Land / Urban Periphery / Permanent Site
• Regulatory Status: Leased Public Land with City Contract to Operate.
• Funding Source: The Community’s Own 501 c (3) Nonprofit
• Structures: Wooden structures measuring up to 10x15 ft. 

"Unlike other homeless encampments that are sponsored by local governments or outside nonprofits, Dignity Village’s model of complete self-governance and funding gives the homeless a unique sense of autonomy and ownership of their community. Having a permanent site (unlike other Pacific Northwest homeless encampments, which move to different churches every ninety days) furthers this sense of ownership and allows the homeless to make both tangible physical and social improvements to their community in a way that is not possible in a mobile community. Many of the homeless describe the village as a “stepping stone” to a better situation and the stability offered by the permanent nature of the village, which allows people to keep and store their items in one place, improve their residence and public assets, and be a part of a community that defines itself not simply as one of homeless people, but an eco-village and intentional community founded on socialistic and communal beliefs. All of this contribute to Dignity’s mission and sets it apart from the other encampments."

"Villagers see their model not only as a viable alternative to an overburdened shelter system, but as one with significant benefits that offer their residents the stability, autonomy, and a platform for a better life. The density, publicness, and tangibility of the village attracts non-profits, students, and service groups in a way to support homeless people that is unique to other homeless outreach work found in cities with dispersed homeless populations or with traditional shelter systems. While Dignity Village is no longer classified as a tent city, or even a homeless encampment, it is particularly relevant to this report as an evolutionary development that sprang from such a community ten years ago. The community consciously sees itself as a national and even international model; advocates and government officials from across the nation and world have visited to learn about the community. " 

"Constructive Alternatives to Criminalization" report (USICH, 2012)[edit]

USICH. "Searching Out Solutions: Constructive Alternatives to the Criminalization of Homelessness." June 2012. 

from: Executive Summary: "In recent years, the United States has seen the proliferation of local measures to criminalize “acts of living” laws that prohibit sleeping, eating, sitting, or panhandling in public spaces. City, town, and county officials are turning to criminalization measures in an effort to broadcast a zero-tolerance approach to street homelessness and to temporarily reduce the visibility of homelessness in their communities. Although individuals experiencing homelessness should be afforded the same dignity, compassion, and support provided to others, criminalization policies further marginalize them, fuel inflammatory attitudes, and may even unduly restrict constitutionally protected liberties. There is ample evidence that alternatives to criminalization policies can adequately balance the needs of all parties. Community residents, government agencies, businesses, and men and women who are experiencing homelessness are better served by solutions that do not marginalize people experiencing homelessness, but rather strike at the core factors contributing to homelessness. 

"the 2009 HEARTH Act charged the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) with “develop[ing] alternatives to laws and policies that prohibit sleeping, eating, sitting, resting, or lying in public spaces when there are no suitable alternatives, result in the destruction of property belonging to people experiencing homelessness without due process, or are selectively enforced against people experiencing homelessness.” "

Potential solutions include...Ensure 24-hour access to shelters and/or services that offer alternatives to living in public spaces and access to services that meet the basic needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in order to reduce visible street homelessness and contribute to reductions in homelessness."
 

"Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in the US" (NLCHP, 2014)[edit]

Hunter, Julie, and Paul Linden-Retek, Sirine Shebaya, Samuel Halpert (2014). "Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States." National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, March 2014. https://nlchp.org//wp-content/uploads/2018/10/WelcomeHome_TentCities.pdf.

"Tent City, USA" report (NLCHP, 2017)[edit]

"The USICH, in its [2015] guidance, took a bright line approach that municipalities should never authorize or support encampments, because that diverts resources that could otherwise go to permanent housing solutions for the residents of those encampments. The underlying principle—that every American deserves fully adequate housing, and encampments are not an acceptable alternative to permanent housing, is a valid one. But the USICH’s stance is not realistic with the current shortage of affordable housing and the current need for housing. As one city official put it “we need to deal with the problem of where do people sleep tonight while we build the housing where they can affordably and permanently sleep for the long term.” Furthermore, the criminal justice approach that so many communities are adopting is more expensive than supporting encampments short term- diverting a larger amount of resources away from permanent housing solutions." (p.41)

HUD / Abt Associates "Understanding Encampments" report, Jan 2019 [edit]

https://www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/Understanding-Encampments.pdf 
[Cohen et al 2019]

from Introduction: 
"This paper documents what is known about homeless encampments as of late 2018, based on a review of the limited literature produced thus far by academic and research institutions and public agencies, supplemented by interviews with key informants. This paper is part of a larger research study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research. This study’s goal is to contribute to our understanding of homelessness, including the characteristics of homeless encampments and the people who stay in them, as well as local ideas about how to address encampments and their associated costs."

 This report has an excellent and fairly current literature review.

"Housing Not Handcuffs" report (NLCHP, 2019 edition)[edit]

"In October 2019, following years of advocacy by local homeless organizers Denver Homeless Out Loud, the Denver City Council unanimously voted to allow 70 square foot tiny home communities in most of Denver.424 With a willing property owner, a tiny home “village” is permissible as a matter of right in industrial, commercial, and mixed-use areas. Church parking lots and residential areas can also host a village, and permits can be renewed yearly at the same location for up to four years, after which they village must move to a new location." "Authorized Encampments: As with emergency shelters, authorized encampments are not a permanent solution to homelessness. Housing is the only permanent solution. But safe and lawful homeless encampments can be a critical interim measure for helping to unhoused people while housing options are pursued. Local governments should develop constructive encampment policies, including designating a sufficient number of adequate areas where homeless people may safely and lawfully camp and store their belongings. To reduce harm to homeless residents and the surrounding communities, encampments should be provided with trash service, water service, and other necessary services, like toilets. In addition, local governments should develop constructive policies for addressing existing homeless encampments modeled on federal guidance and our Encampment Principles and Best Practices. At a minimum, state and local governments should develop policies for cleaning public places that do not displace homeless people from public lands, nor result in the destruction of their belongings, when there is no adequate housing alternative. Our Encampment Principles are available in Appendix B of this report."

  

(3) US legal cases[edit]

Robinson v. California[edit]


O'Callaghan v. City of Portland[edit]

Michael O'Callaghan & his challenge to Portland camping ban
Michael O'Callaghan & his challenge to Portland camping ban

from Bernstein, Maxine. "Appeals court revives challenge of Portland's anti-camping ordinance by man living under bridge." Posted Oct 02, 2018, updated Jan 29, 2019. https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/2018/10/appeals_court_revives_challeng.html:

"Michael O'Callaghan filed a lawsuit in 2012 after getting his plywood, tarps and other belongings confiscated multiple times. He contends the ordinance banning camping on public property is unconstitutional as it applies to "thousands of Oregonians who have no place to sleep.''

"City attorneys countered that the ordinance prohibiting camping on public property or a public right-of-way is directed at specific conduct done with a specific intention– that is, camping to establish a temporary place to live."

"The city also pointed out that O'Callaghan was never charged with or convicted of violating the ordinance and argued that the Eighth Amendment applies only to criminal convictions. O'Callaghan, they also said, isn't "involuntarily homeless – quite the reverse," noting he has income from two trust funds."

However, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in September 2018, upheld O'Callaghan's 8th Amendment-based claim for an appeal, and remanded (sent back) the case to the district court. ("Memorandum: No. 15-35987 (D.C. No. 3:12-cv-00201-BR)." 6 Sepember 2018. https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca9/15-35987/15-35987-2018-09-06.html.

"O’Callaghan concedes on appeal that the ordinance does not, on its face,violate the Eighth Amendment. But O’Callaghan’s briefing and statements at oral argument before the district court made clear that his Eighth Amendment challengewas necessarily an as-applied one; O’Callaghan maintained that the ordinance was unconstitutional as applied to the 'thousands of Oregonians who have no legal place to sleep.'

We recently held that a city ordinance prohibiting individuals from sleepingoutside on public property may violate the Eighth Amendment when enforced against homeless individuals who have no access to alternative shelter. See Martin, 2018 WL 4201159, at *2; Jones v. City of Los Angeles, 444 F.3d 1118,1138 (9th Cir. 2006), vacated, 505 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2007). The district court should therefore permit O’Callaghan to amend his complaint to include sufficient facts concerning whether the ordinance was unconstitutional as applied to Portland’s homeless population, and then rule on the legal viability of the complaint...

We therefore AFFIRM the district court’s judgment with respect to O’Callaghan’s Fourth Amendment claim, REVERSE with respect to his Eighth Amendment challenge, and REMAND to the district court."

Martin v Boise case[edit]

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "Robert Martin v. City of Boise, No. 15-35845." Opinion issued September 4, 2018. https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2018/09/04/15-35845.pdf. 


from the majority Opinion, written by Judge Marsha S. Berzon:

"We consider whether the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment bars a city from prosecuting people criminally for sleeping outside on public property when those people have no home or other shelter to go to. We conclude that it does. The plaintiffs-appellants are six current or former residents of the City of Boise ('the City'), who are homeless or have recently been homeless. Each plaintiff alleges that between 2007 and 2009, he or she was cited by Boise police for violating one or both of two city ordinances. The first, Boise City Code § 9-10-02 (the 'Camping Ordinance'), makes it a misdemeanor to use 'any of the streets, sidewalks, parks, or public places as a camping place at any time.' The Camping Ordinance defines 'camping' as the use of public property as a temporary or permanent place of dwelling, lodging, or residence.'" [...]

"five Justices gleaned from Robinson the principle that “that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the state from punishing an involuntary act or condition if it is the unavoidable consequence of one’s status or being.” Jones, 444 F.3d at 1135; see also United States v. Roberston, 875 F.3d 1281, 1291 (9th Cir. 2017).

"This principle compels the conclusion that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the imposition of criminal penalties for sitting, sleeping, or lying outside on public property for homeless individuals who cannot obtain shelter. As Jones reasoned, “[w]hether sitting, lying, and sleeping are defined as acts or conditions, they are universal and unavoidable consequences of being human.” Jones, 444 F.3d at 1136. Moreover, any “conduct at issue here is involuntary and inseparable from status — they are one and the same, given that human beings are biologically compelled to rest, whether by sitting, lying, or sleeping.” Id. As a result, just as the state may not criminalize the state of being “homeless in public places,” the state may not “criminalize conduct that is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless — namely sitting, lying, or sleeping on the streets.” Id. at 1137.

"Our holding is a narrow one. Like the Jones panel, “we in no way dictate to the City that it must provide sufficient shelter for the homeless, or allow anyone who wishes to sit, lie, or sleep on the streets . . . at any time and at any place.” Id. at 1138. We hold only that “so long as there is a greater number of homeless individuals in [a jurisdiction] than the number of available beds [in shelters],” the jurisdiction cannot prosecute homeless individuals for “involuntarily sitting, lying, and sleeping in public.” Id. That is, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.8

----------
8
Naturally, our holding does not cover individuals who do have access to adequate temporary shelter, whether because they have the means to pay for it or because it is realistically available to them for free, but who choose not to use it. Nor do we suggest that a jurisdiction with insufficient shelter can never criminalize the act of sleeping outside. Even where shelter is unavailable, an ordinance prohibiting sitting, lying, or sleeping outside at particular times or in particular locations might well be constitutionally permissible. See Jones, 444 F.3d at 1123. So, too, might an ordinance barring the obstruction of public rights of way or the erection of certain structures. Whether some other ordinance is consistent with the Eighth Amendment will depend, as here, on whether it punishes a person for lacking the means to live out the “universal and unavoidable consequences of being human” in the way the ordinance prescribes. Id. at 1136.
----------

"We are not alone in reaching this conclusion. As one court has observed, “resisting the need to eat, sleep or engage in other life-sustaining activities is impossible. Avoiding public places when engaging in this otherwise innocent conduct is also impossible. . . . As long as the homeless plaintiffs do not have a single place where they can lawfully be, the challenged ordinances, as applied to them, effectively punish them for something for which they may not be convicted under the [E]ighth [A]mendment — sleeping, eating and other innocent conduct.” Pottinger v. City of Miami, 810 F. Supp. 1551, 1565 (S.D. Fla. 1992); see also Johnson v. City of Dallas, 860 F. Supp. 344, 350 (N.D. Tex. 1994) (holding that a “sleeping in public ordinance as applied against the homeless is unconstitutional”), rev’d on other grounds, 61 F.3d 442 (5th Cir. 1995)." 

----------

From the denial of rehearing, Apr 1, 2019 (amending the holding): 

From concurring opinion of Judge Marsha S. Berzon:

"the opinion holds only that municipal ordinances that criminalize sleeping, sitting, or lying in all public spaces, when no alternative sleeping space is available, violate the Eighth Amendment."


See the analyses of Martin v Boise in these two articles: 

Rankin, Sara K. "Hiding Homelessness: The Transcarceration of Homelessness," (SSRN, 5 December 2019). https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3499195. 

Harvard Law Review. "Martin v. City of Boise: Ninth Circuit Refuses to Reconsider Invalidation of Ordinances Completely Banning Sleeping and Camping in Public." 133 Harv. L. Rev. 699, Dec 10 2019. https://harvardlawreview.org/2019/12/martin-v-city-of-boise/.

 

post-Martin strategies - notes from National Forum on the Human Right to Housing 2019[edit]

NLCHP 2019 Human Right to Housing forum

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. "National Forum on the Human Right to Housing, Final Report".  http://nlchp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2019-Forum-Report-FINAL.pdf.

"On June 5th and 6th , 2019 more than 115 advocates, attorneys, currently and formerly homeless individuals, funders, and government representatives, gathered in Washington, D.C. for the annual National Forum on the Human Right to Housing organized by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. This year, the Forum’s focus was on how to build on the Martin v. Boise decision which states communities cannot criminalize basic acts of survival like sleeping and self-sheltering in the absence of adequate alternatives.  The Forum was designed to draw on the resources that each participant brought to the table and to help create new ones. The event provided the opportunity to share victories and challenges and strategize for future advocacy."

"Photos from the event are located on the Law Center’s Twitter page (@nlchphomeless) and using #RTHForum hashtag. Facebook Live videos are located on the Law Center’s Facebook page."
 

Session VI: Breakouts: Beyond Martin: Next Steps and Takeaways

Policy
Paul Boden (Western Regional Advocacy Project), Kelley Cutler (San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness), Nikita Price (Picture the Homeless), Sara Rankin (Seattle University School of Law Homeless Rights Advocacy Project), and Eric Tars (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty) led advocates in a discussion of strategies for post-Martin policy, including state- and local-level homeless bills of rights and other guidance or policies on addressing unsheltered homelessness.

Major Takeaways:

  • There is a real danger in the post-Martin backlash. Cities are looking for technical compliance while finding loopholes, and more heavily relying on public safety/health/environmental concerns as justifications for sweeps, and casting advocates as the ones endangering homeless persons for demanding alternatives before displacement.
  • We need work on creating a better way to answer the question about what to do about encampments. 
  • Develop best practices to give to elected officials who want to find a better process for outreach and to address concerns about public health and property impacts. In pushing anti-criminalization measures, need to pair with what the alternative is.
  • Monetizing the status quo helps (tracking every police/department of public works interaction).
  • Main message can be “Leave ‘em alone until you have an alternative; return HUD’s budget to pre-1980 levels, and you’ll end homelessness.”

Barrett v. City of Portland[edit]

Harbarger, Molly. "Portland’s ban on homeless camping survives appeal, but appellate judges question its constitutionality." Updated Jan 29, 2020; Posted Jan 29, 2020. https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2020/01/portlands-ban-on-homeless-camping-upheld-but-appellate-judges-question-its-constitutionality.html:

"An Oregon Court of Appeals ruling Wednesday upheld one woman’s conviction for violating Portland’s camping ban, but the judges signaled that a different case could potentially overturn it.

"Three years ago, homeless Portlander Alexandra Barrett argued that some of the criminal charges she had racked up in 2014 should be dismissed because they unfairly targeted her for being homeless.

"The one she zeroed in on was the city’s prohibition against camping on public property. In a pretrial motion, her attorneys tried to get the case dismissed on the grounds that the charge, when applied to homeless people, violated the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment."

Blake v. City of Grants Pass (2018-)[edit]

This case concerning law in the City of Grants Pass, in southern Oregon, appears to be the first Federal court case that will test the 9th Circuit's ruling in Martin v Boise, on the constitutionality of laws prohibiting sleeping and camping in public areas when no shelter is reasonably available.

Suggested hashtag for it, and Twitter search link for that: #BlakevGrantsPass.

Grants Pass downtown, "It's The Climate" sign
Grants Pass downtown, "It's The Climate" sign

Background[edit]

The City of Grants Pass (population 38,191, in 2018), capital of Josephine County, is in the Rogue River valley of southern Oregon, at the point where the West Coast's main north-south transportation corridor (I-5 freeway, 99W highway, and railways) is intersected by I-199 highway. From Grants Pass, I-199 goes SW to meet Hwy 101 on the northern California coast, while the Rogue River, a whitewater-rafting and sports fishing destination, goes NW to the Oregon coast, both traversing the Klamath Mountains range.

Like a number of other cities in the Pacific Northwest, Grants Pass' economy was formerly dominated by the lumber industry, but this has declined since the 1970s while services and tourism have grown.

Signs at Caveman Bridge in Grants Pass pointing to Redwood Empire & Golden Gate Bridge
Signs at Caveman Bridge in Grants Pass pointing to Redwood Empire & Golden Gate Bridge

As described in Portland's Street Roots article of 25 April 2020,

"It was as tourism season approached in 2013 that the city made official its methods for solving its homelessness problems, which business and government leaders perceived as a deterrence to visitors."

At a “City Council Community Roundtable on Vagrancy” that March, city councilors and law enforcement met with service providers and business leaders to brainstorm ways to get rid of problem populations before tourists arrived.

“The point is to make it uncomfortable enough for them in our city so they will want to move on down the road,” said then-City Councilor Lily Morgan, according to minutes from that meeting. Morgan is now a Josephine County commissioner.

"Ideas discussed at the roundtable for how to do that included:

• Create exclusion zones and blanket trespassing agreements with business owners. [...]

Most of these ideas came to fruition over the next few years and have been used as tactics to ostracize homeless people ever since."

- Green (2020)

In October 2018, the Oregon Law Center filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of three Grants Pass residents experiencing homelessness. Debra Blake, Gloria Johnson and John Logan. The following March, attorneys for Grants Pass denied all the allegations in the plaintiffs’ complaint, and argued two of the defendants were not homeless because Blake had moved into transitional housing, while Johnson was living in her van by choice because she receives $1,600 a month in Social Security benefits. (Green 2020).

The case was granted class-action status in August 2019 by U.S. District Court in Medford, Judge Mark Clarke. (US District Court, District of Oregon, Medford Division. "Case No. 1:18-cv-01823-CL: Opinion and Order." 7 August 2019).

On 13 November 2019, attorneys from Oregon Law Center filed a class-action complaint in US District Court on behalf of three involuntarily homeless individuals in Grants Pass, and all person similarly situated, seeking injunction against and declaratory relief for enforcement of the city ordinances prohibiting sleeping and camping in public areas. (US District Court, District of Oregon, Medford Division. "Case No. 1:18-cv-01823-CL: Third Amended Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief." (submitted by Walter Fonseca, Eric T. Dahlin, and Edward Johnson, all of Oregon Law Center). 13 November 2019).

Complaint[edit]

"Counsel for plaintiffs reviewed dozens of anti-camping and anti-sleeping citations produced to them by Defendants pursuant to a public records request. These tickets were issued between January of 2015 and May of 2017."

"Josephine County’s Board of Commissioners declared a countywide affordable housing crisis in November of 2017. The County took steps to legalize more nonconventional housing units and camping in some circumstances. Then Mayor of Grants Pass, Darin Fowler, publicly expressed opposition to these measures."

FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF:

Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Cruel and Unusual Punishment; Excessive Fines) and 42 U.S.C. § 1983

66. By punishing the acts of resting, sleeping or seeking shelter in public, without providing any legal place for most homeless place to conduct such activities, Grants Pass effectively punishes and criminalizes the status of homelessness in violation of plaintiffs’ rights to be free from excessive fines and cruel and usual punishment.

SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF:

Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Equal Protection) and 42 U.S.C. § 1983

Amici curiae briefs[edit]

Oregon League of Cities[edit]

filed an amicus brief in support of City of Grants Pass in March 2020.

In an April 20, 2020 "Litigation Update" memorandum to LOC Board of Directors, LOC's General Counsel Patty Mulvihill wrote:

Several legal experts, including the International Municipal Lawyers Association, believe the Grants Pass case will allow for an opportunity to clarify or rectify the damaging impacts of the 9th Circuit’s decision in Martin. To that end, LOC has retained the same firm it used in the Martin case to file a short amicus brief in support of Grants Pass.https://www.orcities.org/application/files/7415/8776/0175/April_Board_Reports_Final.pdf

Joyce, Anna M., and Stanton R. Gallegos. (2020). "Amicus Brief of League of Oregon Cities in Support of League of Oregon Cities in Support of Defendent City of Grants Pass." Case No. 1:18-cv-01823-CL, US District Court, District of Oregon, Medford Division. Filed 02/28/20. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mYnWxwBWLTHTDvgnYoNSFaG95i4qwc57.

[thanks to Mike Cully, Executive Director, League of Oregon Cities for sending this].

[add summary of brief arguments here]

NLCHP (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty)[edit]

filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs.

Creighton, Beth, and Tristia M. Bauman, Nicolle L. Jacoby, Tharuni A. Jayaraman (all pro hac vice). (2020). "Amicus Brief of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment." Case No. 1:18-cv-01823-CL, US District Court, District of Oregon, Medford Division. Filed 03/31/20. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dSR2cyXavfu36agWnDZz7FgWWkZGkIbM.

[thanks to Tristia Bauman at NLCHP for sending us this amicius brief].

[add summary of brief arguments here]


(4) Criminalization of homelessness, and "Public-space zoning"[edit]

In spring of 2020, a Portland neighborhood association leader commented about a proposal:

"[accepting] neighborhood shelters in exchange for outlawing unsanctioned camping is the essence of what makes this a game changing proposal."

I've been especially interested over the last six months in this particular angle, of an 'exchange', or what you might after [Ellickson 1996] call a "public zoning" approach, where some areas of public space have camps/villages and others don't.

Interestingly, depending on your view, you might see this as criminalizing homelessness, or decriminalizing homelessness. Since it can't really be both, I have some hope that warring sides might be brought together around this. ;).

Around this term "criminalization of homelessness" there is a now well-established and widespread discourse going back at least to the 1990s and especially led by NLCHP, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. [there are what you could call practices of criminalizing homelessness going back at least to the AD 600s in England, in the Anglo tradition to which we are still heirs, see "Vagrancy and vagabondage."].

The term 'criminalization' is used to cover various laws, at city and sometimes county or state levels: such as, against panhandling, public feeding of the needy; and sitting, laying, sleeping, storing possessions, self-sheltering, or vehicle-dwelling in public spaces. (also on private property, via trespass agreements delegating enforcement powers to police).

In particular, the discourse of homelessness criminalization typically asserts that legal restrictions on these practices anywhere constitute criminalization of homelessness. This turns out to be, in theoretical and legal and practical discussions, a complicated, disputed, and nuanced issue.

In Portland as elsewhere, advocacy using terms like "Stop the Sweeps" -- or even using the term 'sweeps' at all, as other parties like governments prefer not to -- asserts that it is criminalization, and unjust, to remove the houseless or their possessions from public spaces if adequate housing is not available.

This view is articulated, for example, in a June 12th opinion piece in The Oregonian by Linda Senn, acting executive director of Sisters of the Road, writing on behalf of Stop The Sweeps PDX coalition: "Opinion: Amid pandemic, city and Multnomah County must step up housing, facilities for the houseless":

"We call on Portland leaders to recognize housing as a human right. We demand a variety of shelter-in-place options for the duration of this pandemic and beyond. We demand the city of Portland and Multnomah County allow people to shelter in place on public land, governing themselves, with access to water, showers, handwashing stations and trash service, and with no threat of sweeps. The city and county must open up additional public land and buildings and must also sign long-term leases or purchase hotels for the duration of the pandemic and beyond. Case management and supportive services should be provided as options; however, housing, including in hotels, should never be contingent upon participation in case management or services. Additionally, efforts to address homelessness must be led by experts – houseless and formerly houseless people. Finally, we demand actual housing. It is an abuse of authority for local governments to use their power to uphold business interests and continue to criminalize and sweep unhoused people. Instead, the city and county need to enable people to shelter in the place of their choosing.

On the one hand I am inclined to agree, and feel that present sweeps practices in Portland and elsewhere, where people are forcibly removed from a public space without provision of an alternative, are costly, performative, unhelpful, human rights violations that are an embarrassment to and indictment of our city and country, and the whole world is watching.

On the other hand, I think there are good reasons to ask:

  1. Why/when should we consider restrictions on the nature and location of any activity in public, including dwelling, to be criminalization of that activity, or of the status of people engaged in it, or violations of human rights? Also,
  2. When/why is it helpful or necessary, for addressing homelessness issues, to seek decriminalization or a right to rest/shelter that is defined as applying to all public space?

Suggested sources on this topic:

ACLU of Oregon. (2017). "Decriminalizing Homelessness: Why Right to Rest Legislation is the High Road for Oregon." Portland: April 2017. https://aclu-or.org/en/publications/decriminalizing-homelessness-oregon.

Ellickson, Robert C. (1996). "Controlling Chronic Misconduct in City Spaces: Of Panhandlers, Skid Rows, and Public-Space Zoning." The Yale Law Journal, Vol 105, 1165-1248. http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/408.

An influential, controversial, and much-cited article, in which a concept of "public-space zoning" concept is developed. Note that Ellickson proposes the idea for a different purpose, to differentially regulate "misconduct"; but it could be applied to zoned approval or prohibition of public dwelling.  

Herring, Christopher (2014). "The New Logics of Homeless Seclusion:Homeless Encampments in America's West Coast Cities." City & Community, 23 December 2014. https://doi.org/10.1111/cico.12086. PDF: https://www.academia.edu/15061831/The_New_Logics_of_Homeless_Seclusion_Homeless_Encampments_in_America_s_West_Coast_Cities_2014_City_and_Community_Vol_13_No._4_285-309.

Herring is a post-doctoral fellow in sociology at Harvard and appointed Associate Professor of Sociology at UCLA. He is also a longtime organizer with the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco (while completing PhD studies at UC Berkeley), and among the best-known researchers on homeless encampments and criminalization.

Kohn, Margaret (2004). Brave New Neighborhoods: The Privatization of Public Space. (Routledge, 2004).  See particularly "Chapter 8 Homeless-Free Zones: Three Critiques" which responds to [Ellickson 1996] and others. https://chisineu.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/margaret_kohn_brave_new_neighborhoods_the_privatization_of_public_space__2004.pdf.

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP). (2019). "Housing Not Handcuffs 2019: Ending the Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities." December 2019. http://nlchp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/HOUSING-NOT-HANDCUFFS-2019-FINAL.pdf.

Rankin, Sara (January 28, 2020). "Hiding Homelessness: The Transcarceration of Homelessness." California Law Review, forthcoming. http://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3499195.

Rankin is the founder and Director of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project (HRAP) at Seattle University, School of Law. This article analyzes the landmark US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Martin v. Boise, regarding prohibition of public sleeping/dwelling, and suggests that cities to comply with it may create regressive 'carceral' zones or facilities for the unhoused while excluding them from other areas - 'transcarceration.' Rankin focuses on this feared outcome, and asserts that governments ought instead to provide permanent housing to the houseless. The analysis in this article section (in HousingWiki / Village Buildings) by contrast, focuses more on whether, why, and how forms of "Public-space zoning" could be positive and just


Foscarinis-Maria_1996_Downward-Spiral--Homelessness-and-Its-Criminalization.pdf

In part responding to [Ellickson 1996]. Interestingly while Foscarinis argues a position, and comes from a political standpoint, very different than Ellickson's, they had apparently been in private correspondence about the topic, and both thank each other in their respective 1996 papers.

Foster, Sheila R. (2013). "Collective Action and the Urban Commons." 87 Notre Dame L. Rev. 57. https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr/vol87/iss1/2

Simon, Harry. (1992). "Towns without Pity: A Constitutional and Historical Analysis of Official Efforts to Drive Homeless Persons from American Cities." 66 Tul. L. Rev. 631 (1991-1992).

Waldron, Jeremy. (2000). "Homelessness and Community." The University of Toronto Law Journal, Vol. 50, No. 4 (Autumn, 2000), pp. 371-406. https://www.ighhub.org/sites/default/files/Homelessness%20and%20Community.pdf.

in part responding to [Ellickson 1996].

Waldron, Jeremy. "Community and Property — For Those Who Have Neither." Theoretical Inquiries in Law 10.1 (2009).

in part responding to [Ellickson 1996].

Waldron (1991). "Homelessness and the Issue of Freedom." UCLA Law Review 39 295 (December 1991), 296.


(5) Portland[edit]

HUCIRP - Homeless and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program [edit]

HUCIRP

"is responsible for coordinating cleanup/abatement of unsanctioned campsites on City and ODOT [Oregon Department of Transportation] owned properties/rights-of-way within the City while managing the City’s One Point of Contact campsite reporting system."  [City of Portland HUCIRP site]. 

The program staff pronounce it like "HUCK-urp."
We suggest "hue-SURP" - like "usurp."
 

HUCIRP Strategic Plan 2019-2021

HUCIRP logo

Strategic Goal #3 IDENTIFY/CREATE LAWFUL PLACES FOR PEOPLE TO SLEEP
• Continue to work with the Joint Office of Homeless Services, Multnomah County, and other jurisdictions on public space management strategies that reduce the need for campsite cleanup interventions which require the removal and storage of personal property.
• Implement a model of collaboration and cooperation with Portland Housing Bureau, Prosper Portland, OMF-HUCIRP, and property owning bureaus to identify underutilized City properties, or properties in pre-development stages, that could be used for alternative shelter purposes to provide lawful and organized places for people experiencing homelessness to sleep.

 

Stop the Sweeps PDX & related responses[edit]

 Kaia Sand, executive editor of Street Roots newspaper in Portland, tweeted on Dec 17:
 

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty https://www.facebook.com/CommissionerHardesty/posts/450865485834942 December 20 at 3:58 PM ·

"I’ve heard concerns coming from community members around campsite cleanups and I feel it’s imperative to clarify that City Council has not made a decision to cancel the Rapid Response contract, nor did I or any commissioners advocate for that. I want to assure community members that I hear your fear that the services currently provided felt threatened they would be interrupted and assure you that they are not.

"Here is where I stand: I understand the trauma that comes from sweeps. I have heard the stories of how these actions affect the mental, physical and emotional well-being of houseless individuals. With that understanding I am not supportive of the way the current contract is laid out. It is too large and onerous a task to ask one group to provide services; including engaging with houseless community members, moving and storing their property, and cleaning up biowaste.

"What I would like to see is for the city to extend the current contract for 6 months while council reimagines a new set of contracts to meet the needs of our community. Rather than one large contract, I would like to see the responsibilities split between several contractors with more specific expertise.

"I want to thank Commissioner Eudaly for working with me to pull the item from the agenda so council could have more time for a more robust discussion on this issue, and the Mayor for working collaboratively with his colleagues and hearing their concerns.

"I appreciate that advocates, neighbors and the hard working people at the city, including those at the Homelessness/Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program are all working towards solutions to this complex problem and I am committed to working with all of you. Together we can address these concerns with compassion."  

See extensive comments thread on this post for various views from community.

 

and later..

 


 

Dec 21 initial proposal in Village Collaborative group[edit]

intially labled HUCIRP+ ("use-SUR-plus"):

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheVillageCollaborative/permalink/1203649969809977/

"What if we proposed a response to Supreme Court ruling and Portland 'sweeps' contract dispute that would put the $4.5M entirely into a program to provide sanctioned campgrounds, meeting specified standards of adequate capacity & location and civil rights, etc, and would also employ residents to do [any remaining] impact-mitigation work? 
    Linking stop-the-sweeps to this is in conversation in Seattle, where Councilmember Sawant and a large group of faith leaders recently proposed to add 20 new tiny house villages: 
https://southseattleemerald.com/2019/11/12/opinion-seattle-must-stop-the-sweeps/

"The proposal above come from my mulling this week about Supreme Court upholding of Boise v. Martin ruling. I am starting to wonder if advocates with Stop the Sweeps PDX etc may be missing some of the legal implications, and also possibilities, of this situation. 

Cory's article [Elia, 2019a] says, "The demands by the Stop the Sweeps PDX group are a complete stop of the practice of sweeps in accordance with the 9th District Court decision of Martin v. Boise." 

However, it is not at all clear that Boise v. Martin requires that. The majority opinion says:

"Nor do we suggest that a jurisdiction with insufficient shelter can never criminalize the act of sleeping outside. Even where shelter is unavailable, an ordinance prohibiting sitting, lying, or sleeping outside at particular times or in particular locations might well be constitutionally permissible. So, too, might an ordinance barring the obstruction of public rights of way or the erection of certain structures."  -- https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca9/15-35845/15-35845-2019-04-01.html

"Further, as argued by dissenting opinions in the ruling, and many of the amici curiae briefs filed by states' attorney generals and many cities & counties, lots of people don't see it as manageable, sensible, or acceptable to allow shelter on all public property. You might say, nor do the unhoused, who probably wouldn't, for example, think it sensible to sleep/camp in the middle of active roads, or allow others to. 

"Localities continue to have many legal & practical means to sweep encampments -- after all, the law didn't change this week, it was upheld. I don't see that they either have or will soon have either a legal mandate or enough public pressure, in most places, to stop all sweeps. 

"HOWEVER, local governments/officials do feel beset, confused, and under high scrutiny in these matters, and they sense they are facing a lot of costs one way or another in terms of 'cleanup' costs, policing, political risks of being seen as mistaken or ineffective, etc. Perhaps we can help them help us? 

"THEREFORE, I suggest that we, and Stop The Sweeps campaign etc, consider what alternative proposals could be better than the status quo, or the most acceptable, even favorable, if we projected that "stop all sweeps" is not attainable.  Thus for example the hypothetical proposal above for citywide campground / village system presented as a way for city to remain in complance with Boise v. Martin ruling. " 

Proposal for test lawsuit against Portland camping ban[edit]

from Tim McCormick, Comment, January 31, 2020, on Facebook post by Cory Elia, inviting suggested questions to ask Mayor Wheeler at upcoming homelessness forum. [see: Street Roots, "Mayor to host Portland forums about homelessness." 31 Jan 2020]: 

"I'd ask, like Mike O'Callaghan's question: how could Portland create adequate, sanctioned, shelter and/or camping areas for all homeless residents, in order for the city's campsite clearances to be defensible against constitutional challenges following from the 9th Circuit's Martin v Boise ruling? For example, if Portland's camping-restriction ordinance were challenged in Federal court?

"You may be able to ask the Mayor this or some question, but it doesn't seem that these very managed public fora are much likely to shift the Mayor/City's policy on, say, sweeps. In terms of the classic Arnstein "Ladder of Citizen Participation" model, these fora are probably low on the ladder. But I imagine other efforts/strategies are in play, what are they and where are those conversations happening?

"As my question suggests, a strategy I might suggest [though I Am Not a Lawyer] is to develop a test case something like original Martin v. Boise case: find someone penalized by city's anti-camping ordinance, who undeniably endured harm during actions enforcing the ordinance, and faces concrete, imminent risk of harm from future such enforcement action. Then file suit in Federal district court against the city seeking prospective relief and a permanent injunction enjoying the City from enforcing the ordinances.

"Federal district court in Oregon is bound by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rulings, ie Martin v Boise, so if we got to this point it might look like the suit had a chance to succeed and invalidate the camping ban. This might create sufficient leverage to make the City either suspend enforcement of the campsite ban, or modify the ordinance to meet constitutional muster, and possibly get the suit withdrawn.

"Note, I imagine that groups such as National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and ACLU and ACLU of Oregon are contemplating such legal strategies, and would know much more about it than my amateur legal hypothesizing does. I haven't yet seen anything from them along these lines, perhaps it's too soon after Supreme Court's denial of Martin v Boise appeal the other month.

"Reference: An action like the suit above would be a case of moving UP on "A Ladder Of Citizen Participation," described by Sherry R. Arnstein, 1969, in Journal of the American Planning. Association, 35: 4, 216-224."

 

Groups / leaders involved[edit]

Fight the Sweeps PDX (Facebook page)

https://www.facebook.com/FightTheSweepsPortland/
 

Commissioner Joann Hardesty 

https://www.facebook.com/CommissionerHardesty/

 

(6) Other cities[edit]

Seattle [edit]

 

Eugene[edit]

 

San Francisco[edit]

 

Washington D.C. 
 
[edit]

Philadelphia[edit]

from Metraux et al 2019. "An Evaluation of the City of Philadelphia’s Kensington Encampment Resolution Pilot."

 

 

(7) Guides/Proposals for encampment operation and response[edit]

Parr & Rankin (2018), Guide for Authorized Encampments.[edit]

Parr, Evanie and Rankin, Sara (2018). "It Takes a Village: Practical Guide for Authorized Encampments." Seattle University Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, May 3, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3173224.


NLCHP, "Housing Not Handcuffs" report 2019
[edit]

"Authorized Encampments:
As with emergency shelters, authorized encampments are not a permanent solution to homelessness. Housing is the only permanent solution. But safe and lawful homeless encampments can be a critical interim measure for helping to unhoused people while housing options are pursued. Local governments should develop constructive encampment policies, including designating a sufficient number of adequate areas where homeless people may safely and lawfully camp and store their belongings. To reduce harm to homeless residents and the surrounding communities, encampments should be provided with trash service, water service, and other necessary services, like toilets. In addition, local governments should develop constructive policies for addressing existing homeless encampments modeled on federal guidance and our Encampment Principles and Best Practices. At a minimum, state and local governments should develop policies for cleaning public places that do not displace homeless people from public lands, nor result in the destruction of their belongings, when there is no adequate housing alternative. Our Encampment Principles are available in Appendix B of this report."

Appendix B:  Encampment Principles & Best Practices 

Based on input from federal, state, and local representatives, service providers, and people experiencing homelessness, as well as relevant domestic and international laws, our initial findings revealed certain key principles and corresponding practices that appear to be important for successful interventions to end encampments in our communities. These principles and practices are excerpted from TENT CITY, USA: The Growth of America’s Homeless Encampments and How Communities are Responding
(https://www.nlchp.org/Tent_City_USA _2017), which also includes numerous case studies of communities implementing these best practices. As a caution, we note that while incorporating interim encampments into a plan to end homelessness may provide homeless individuals with an improvement in their quality of life and reduce calls for criminalization, the community must also have a serious and funded long-term plan that ensures the availability of permanent, adequate, appropriate housing for all, so encampments do not become a permanent feature of our cities and towns.

Encampment Principles and Practices

Principle 1:
All people need safe, accessible, legal place to be, both at night and during the day, and a place to securely store belongings— until permanent housing is found.

• Determine the community’s full need for housing and services, and then create a binding plan to ensure full access to supportive services and housing affordable for all community members so encampments are not a permanent feature of the community.
• Repeal or stop enforcing counterproductive municipal ordinances and state laws that criminalize sleeping, camping, and storage of belongings.
• Provide safe, accessible, and legal places to sleep and shelter, both day and night. Provide clear guidance on how to access these locations.
• Create storage facilities for persons experiencing homelessness, ensuring they are accessible–close to other services and transportation, do not require ID, and open beyond business hours.

Principle 2:
Delivery of services must respect the experience, human dignity, and human rights of those receiving them.

• Be guided by frequent and meaningful consultation with the people living in encampments. Homeless people are the experts of their own condition.
• Respect autonomy and self-governance for encampment residents.
• Offer services in a way that is sensitive and appropriate with regard to race, ethnicity, culture, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. Use a trauma-informed approach.

Principle 3:
Any move or removal of an encampment must follow clear procedures that protect residents. Create clear procedures for ending homelessness for people living in pre-existing encampments, including:

• Make a commitment that encampments will not be removed unless all residents are first consulted and provided access to adequate alternative housing or—in emergency situations—another adequate place to stay.
• If there are pilot periods or required rotations of sanctioned encampments, ensure that residents have a clear legal place to go and assistance with the transition. Pilot periods or requiring rotation of legal encampments/parking areas on a periodic basis (e.g., annually or semi-annually) can help reduce local “not-in-my-back-yard” opposition, but shorter time periods hinder success.
• Provide sufficient notice to residents and healthcare/ social service workers to be able to determine housing needs and meet them (recommended minimum 30 days, but longer if needed).
• Assist with moving and storage to enable residents to retain their possessions as they transfer either to housing, shelter, or alternative encampments.

Principle 4:
Where new temporary legalized encampments are used as part of a continuum of shelter and housing, ensure it is as close to possible to fully adequate housing.

• Establish clear end dates by which point adequate low-barrier housing or appropriate shelter will be available for all living in the legal encampments.
• Protect public health by providing access to water, personal hygiene (including bathrooms with hand washing capability), sanitation, and cooking services or access to SNAPS hot meals benefits.
• Provide easy access to convenient 24-hour transportation, particularly if services are not colocated.
• Statutes and ordinances facilitating partnerships with local businesses, religious organizations, or non-profits to sponsor, support or host encampments or safe overnight parking lots for persons living in their vehicles can help engage new resources and improve the success of encampments.
• Do not require other unsheltered people experiencing homelessness to reside in the encampments if the facilities do not meet their needs.

Principle 5:
Adequate alternative housing must be a decent alternative.
• Ensure that emergency shelters are low-barrier, temporary respites for a few nights while homeless individuals are matched with appropriate permanent housing; they are not long-term alternatives to affordable housing and not appropriate in the short term for everyone. Low-barrier shelter includes the “3 P’s”—pets, possessions, and partners, as well as accessible to persons with disabilities or substance abuse problems.

• Adequate housing must be:

  • Safe, stable, and secure: a safe and private place to sleep and store belongings without fear of harassment or unplanned eviction;
  • Habitable: with services (electricity, hygiene, sanitation), protection from the elements and environmental hazards, and not overcrowded;
  • Affordable: housing costs should not force people to choose between paying rent and paying for other basic needs (food, health, etc.); 
  • Accessible: physically (appropriate for residents’ physical and mental disabilities, close to/ transport to services and other opportunities) and practically (no discriminatory barriers, no compelling participation in or subjection to religion).

Principle 6:
Law enforcement should serve and protect all members of the community.

• Law and policies criminalizing homelessness, including those criminalizing public sleeping, camping, sheltering, storing belongings, sitting, lying, vehicle dwelling, and panhandling should be repealed or stop being enforced.
• Law enforcement should serve and protect encampment residents at their request.
• Law enforcement officers—including dispatchers, police, sheriffs, park rangers, and private business improvement district security—should receive crisis intervention training and ideally be paired with fully-trained multi-disciplinary social service teams when interacting with homeless populations.

Beyond these specific recommendations, in order to create the long-term housing solutions communities needed to permanently end encampments, we also encourage individuals and organizations to look at the model policies of the Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign: housingnothandcuffs.org."

Solutions Not Sweeps coalition, San Francisco[edit]

they make four key demands: 

  1. End the illegal confiscation and destruction of unhoused neighbors’ personal property.
  2. Replace the complaint-driven and law enforcement-led response to homelessness with an evidence-based approach aimed at connecting people with their needs.
  3. End the use of cleaning as a pretext for harassment of unhoused people and establish productive, scheduled, regular, and well-publicized street and sidewalk cleaning where unhoused people reside.
  4. End the towing of vehicles that people are using as their homes.

  

Services Not Sweeps (Los Angeles).[edit]

Services Not Sweeps, LA

"Our Demands" https://servicesnotsweeps.com/

"The City of Los Angeles, in response to community organizing, demands from unhoused communities, County Public Health reports, and other input, has increased street cleaning and sanitation services in unhoused communities over the past three to five years. Unfortunately, however, the City has done so with an emphasis on criminalization, harassment, and removal of people and their belongings, instead of taking a health-based approach to ensuring safe and clean streets for all.

All endorsers acknowledge that housing is the ultimate solution to homelessness, and work to increase, preserve, and broaden access to housing on a daily basis.  Endorsers also know, though, that housing for everyone is a decades-long goal that requires far more funding and massive policy change to undo this crisis that has been 40 years in the making. Therefore, the City and all of its Departments and residents, must change the approach to unhoused communities in our public spaces, and provide health-based solutions and resources that improve living conditions for all of us. To accomplish this goal, at a minimum:

We call on the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles to immediately:

1) Remove all Law Enforcement personnel from any of the City’s street cleaning teams and efforts

2) Ensure all street and sidewalk cleaning is scheduled, regular, and well publicized

  • Eliminate the complaint-driven model in all forms. All street and sidewalk cleaning must occur as publicly scheduled.
  • Cleaning will be scheduled on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly timeframe, with a 2 to 4 hour window of time, similar to other City street cleaning services.
  • Continue to post notices at and near each site prior to cleaning services, either 48 or 72 hours in advance.
  • Schedule will be publicly available through the City’s website, and via other modes of communication to ensure the information is readily available to homeless individuals, service providers, and others.
  • Posted notices will include a map of the area to be cleaned and identify a voluntary secure space for people to leave their belongings during the cleanup if they choose to do so and/or have to leave the site during the cleaning. However, property/belongings can also be in any other space, as long as it does not impede cleaning. Attended or unattended personal property may be temporarily moved in order to complete cleaning, but will not be removed to offsite storage or confiscated under any circumstances.

3) Ensure appropriate resources are in place in advance of and during all scheduled cleaning

  • Dumpsters/trash bins, individual trash bags, sharps disposal containers, and other health resources will be provided at the site of scheduled cleaning, at least 24 hours before the cleanup begins, so individuals can sort and throw trash away.
  • Outreach workers will be present on site the day before the clean-up and also thirty minutes before the cleanup begins to provide additional notice of cleanings.  Outreach workers or other community members will be allowed at the clean up sites to help identify and assist individuals who need accommodations to move their belongings.
  • City officials will ensure that the provision of appropriate resources extends to any informal shelter needs in extreme weather such as rain or heat, and will provide accommodations during street cleaning that occurs in extreme weather conditions.
  • Until such time restrooms are readily available in all communities, ensure that unhoused residents can utilize the City workers’ porta-potty currently on site during street cleaning.  

4) Ensure an accountability system for City street and sidewalk cleaning procedures, including a complaint/grievance process and a response to any violations documented within three days.

All of the changes outlined can and must be implemented immediately, as they require no additional funding, no legislative changes, and are within the direct oversight of the Mayor of Los Angeles. Additionally, funding and policy change are required to fully ensure a health-based approach to street cleaning and sanitation services in homeless communities. At a minimum, these are outlined below.
 

We call on the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles to include in the 2019 budget (including any existing or planned HEAP funds):

1) Plans and funding to increase trash services

  • Ensure that areas with significant homeless communities receive daily trash service.
  • Ensure that the recent increase in trash cans and collection in Skid Row be maintained or expanded.  

2) Improve public health infrastructure beyond street cleaning efforts

  • For larger encampments, shower trailer, mobile bathrooms, needle exchange, Narcan training and distribution, and other public health and harm reduction resources and services must also be provided during street cleaning
  • Increase mobile showers and bathrooms citywide in areas of highest need
  • Remove and/enforce against hostile architecture, particularly the illegal sidewalk planters.  


We call on the Los Angeles City Council to:

1)Rescind ordinances that have solely been used to criminalize homelessness during street cleaning efforts and at other times, including 41.18 d and 56.11.

2) Support the budget proposals above, at a minimum, to address public health and end harassment and criminalization.

3) Implement the Guiding Principles and Practices for Local Responses to Unsheltered Homelessness across all areas and departments of the City, particularly Sanitation.      

This document is solely focused on a public health and harm reduction approach to street and sidewalk cleaning.  All endorsers agree on these recommendations.  However, this document does not include the multiple changes urgently needed in Los Angeles Police Department policy that criminalize homelessness, poverty and communities of color far more broadly than in the street/sidewalk cleaning efforts, or other recommendations to improve health and respect all human and civil rights."

 

Leilani Farha & Haseena Manek (2020)[edit]

Manek, Haseena, and Leilani Farha.  "The case for a human rights response to homeless encampments." ["Residents of informal settlements are not recipients of charity nor are they trespassers, criminals or deviants – they are rights-holders and experts in their own lives"]. Now Toronto, Feb 11, 2020. https://nowtoronto.com/news/homeless-encampments-toronto-canada/.

"What’s mystifying is the response to encampments by all levels of government. "Instead of trying to address the situations through robust human rights-based strategies, they respond by committing yet another human rights violation: forcibly evicting people from their homes. For those experiencing homelessness, it’s double jeopardy. 

"Governments need to recognize that tent encampments are of their own making. It’s time to develop a national protocol on tent encampments based on human rights.

"What does that mean? Here are the fundamentals:

"A ban on forced evictions:  'Forced eviction, the permanent or temporary removal of a person from their lands or home – whether an apartment, a house, a tent or a car – constitutes a gross violation of international human rights law, particularly when shelters are at capacity. Laws permitting forced evictions should be repealed. And all viable alternatives to eviction must be explored in consultation with residents. 

"Meaningful engagement  "Residents of informal settlements are not recipients of charity nor are they trespassers, criminals or deviants. They are rights-holders, and they are experts in their own lives. Any policies, programs or decisions that affect them should include their active and meaningful participation. Residents should be provided with the necessary resources and support to engage in discussions with government officials regarding their living conditions and arrangements.

"Access to basic services "Conditions in encampments are often deplorable. Governments fail to provide basic services required for human dignity such as toilets, showers, garbage collection and electricity. Denial of these services not only infringes the right to adequate housing but also serves to entrench public stereotypes about those living in poverty and homelessness. The provision of these services should be mandatory.

"Housing over evictions  "Where there is no viable alternative and eviction is required, it must be carried out in a manner consistent with international human rights law, which includes relocating residents to adequate, long-term housing with supports in the approximate location to the encampment or to another agreed-upon location.  "A human rights foundation." [...].

SF Coalition on Housing: Policy Paper - Safe and Dignified Sleep Spaces (April 2020)[edit]

ca. 15 April, 2020.

"General Statement:

"We do not see the provision of safe and dignified sleep as permanent solutions to homelessness. We believe all humans have the fundamental right to safe and decent housing. That said, we also recognize the need for emergency services for homeless people, and that while that housing is being developed, homeless people must have access to safe, dignified sleep, freedom from harassment and criminalization for their poverty status, and access to basic hygiene facilities. These emergency services should be diverse and not have a “cookie-cutter” approach. For many homeless people, the traditional shelter system, with a structured setting feels most safe for some while others prefer less rule intensive shelter model of the Navigation Centers. However, these style of shelters do not serve everyone well, and a safe and dignified sleep space would better serve this latter group.

"We support the self-determination and autonomy of homeless people to determine for themselves what is appropriate for their own individual circumstances, recognizing that there is extremely limited permanent housing available, insufficient services and shelters. The provision of safe and dignified sleep is not an alternative to long-term housing and should not replace providing permanent housing to people living in a supported encampments.

"The recent expansion of emergency services has been directly linked to and used as a cover for criminalization and sweeps without the offering of placement into services. In the opening of the South Van Ness navigation center, placements were offered to about a third of those homeless people who were forcibly removed. The creation of a safe sleep space should never be used as an excuse for this activity, or we will fail to succeed in solving homelessness. If criminalization is promoted, we will continue to divert resources and rely on an effort that does not move people off the streets."


Preferred Elements:

  • The establishment of a camping area cannot be an excuse for increased criminalization outside of supported camping area
  • Residents shall not be prohibited from engaging in basic survival activities and will be provided with means to do so. These will include at a minimum:
    • Access to hygiene facilities: Basic portable sinks, toilets, and showers.
    • Garbage service: Garbage, including recycling and compost, will be regularly serviced 1-2 times a week
    • Access to drinking water
    • Access to shared cooking facilities
  • Legal camping areas should not include on-going police presence and/or surveillance
  • Ideal spaces are those that are not permanent, such as pre-development sites
  • Structures should be low cost and mobile
  • The community should be homeless people led, defined as:
    • Self-determination on access into the safe and dignified sleep area
    • Self-determined length of stay. While the space may be temporary; there should not be artificial time limits on stays while space is available, as these lead to increased instability and trauma.
    • Self-governance, including a decision-making body that determines whether to have staff on site, off site or to not have staffing of encampments; however, any staffing on site should in no way interfere with self governance, nor should staff determine people being able to stay or not. Neither should this preclude paid positions of residents.
  • Campers should have opportunity for equitable access to permanent housing
  • Design should engender social network and community support."


A practical right to dwelling / Portland village network[edit]

from comment 18 May 2020 by Tim McCormick on Village Collaborative facebook group:

"I think that to move towards good shelter alternatives, for people to move to instead of unsanctioned public habitations they're in now, we need to develop principles and standards that these alternatives MUST meet, i.e. are clearly agreed and promulgated, are overseen and enforced and give residents clear rights and recourses.

"To develop binding principles/standards, I think we need to first and foremost, listen to what unhoused people believe is necessary and desirable; and also bring in guidance such as from legal advocacy groups (e.g. National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty) and local advocacy groups that have capability and empowerment to assist residents and help support them politically. Also, from the villages field, e.g. this group, which has a lot of accumulated knowledge about ways to set up and manage alternative housing settings, operating agreements and community agreements.

"Also, listen to and come to some agreement with authorities, necessarily. In my view there are a number of levers to help that: e.g., officials and even neighborhood associations do often want to find solutions, and are aware that present practices are costly, unsatisfactory, & unpopular. Also, court rulings such as Martin v Boise mean that enforcement of citywide criminalization laws is often legally doubtful, so cities are interested in how they might avoid this legal risk by having decriminalized options/areas.

"I believe that such a path of working out viable alternatives can helpfully draw on and pragmatically realize "right to housing" ideas. I.e. how might a city like Portland offer, at least on a trial basis, at least minimal rights of habitation to all unhoused residents, which might mean something like reasonable access to authorized safe areas, resident rights, right to self-shelter, etc. I imagine it might emerge as politically and/or pragmatically important to define *who* would be given these rights, e.g. anyone present in city, anyone with existing or prior residence in city, etc? Old questions, but I think good to engage anew."

The question here is immediate, practical, and actual, in that in May 2020, a coalition of North Portland neighborhood associations issued a "Joint Statement on Homelessness" proposing a citywide system of authorized camps/villages, along with prohibition of camping in parks, waterways and public paths. [see Portland village network]. This echoes the statement in NLCHP, "Housing Not Handcuffs" report [NLCHP 2019]:

"safe and lawful homeless encampments can be a critical interim measure for helping to unhoused people while housing options are pursued. Local governments should develop constructive encampment policies, including designating a sufficient number of adequate areas where homeless people may safely and lawfully camp and store their belongings."

Considering this from the standpoint of legal theory and international law, and the "right to housing", this angle might be considered aligned with the concept of 'minimum core' socio-economic rights:

"The concept of the 'minimum core' seeks to establish a minimum legal content for the notoriously indeterminate claims of economic and social rights. By recognizing the “minimum essential levels” of the rights to food, health, housing, and education, it is a concept trimmed, honed, and shorn of deontological excess. It reflects a “minimalist” rights strategy, which implies that maximum gains are made by minimizing goals. It also trades rights inflation for rights-ambition, channeling the attention of advocates towards the severest cases of material deprivation and treating these as violations by states towards their own citizens or even to those outside their territorial reach. With the minimum core concept as its guide, economic and social rights are supposed to enter the hard work of hard law." [italics emphases added - tm for housingwiki]. -[Young 2008] Young, Katharine G. (2008). "The Minimum Core of Economic and Social Rights: A Concept in Search of Content." The Yale Journal of International Law, 33:113-175.

See further discussion in article Right to housing.

References[edit]

ACLU of Oregon. (2017). "Decriminalizing Homelessness: Why Right to Rest Legislation is the High Road for Oregon." Portland: April 2017. https://aclu-or.org/en/publications/decriminalizing-homelessness-oregon.

Arnstein, Sherry R. (1969). "A Ladder Of Citizen Participation," Journal of the American Planning Association, 35: 4, 216-224. https://www.participatorymethods.org/sites/participatorymethods.org/files/Arnstein%20ladder%201969.pdf.

Beckett, Katherine, and Steve Herbert. 2009. Banished: The New Social Control In Urban America. New York: Oxford University Press.

Coalition on Homeless, Dilara Yarbrough, and Chris Herring (2015). "Punishing the Poorest: How the Criminalization of Homelessness Perpetuates Poverty in San Francisco." https://www.academia.edu/13087174/Punishing_the_Poorest_How_the_Criminalization_of_Homelessness_Perpetuates_Poverty_in_San_Francisco..

Cohen, Rebecca, Will Yetvin, & Jill Khadduri, for Abt Associates (2019). "Understanding Encampments of People Experiencing Homelessness and Community Responses: Emerging Evidence as of Late 2018." US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, January 7, 2019. https://www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/Understanding-Encampments.pdf. 

from Introduction:  "This paper documents what is known about homeless encampments as of late 2018, based on a review of the limited literature produced thus far by academic and research institutions and public agencies, supplemented by interviews with key informants. This paper is part of a larger research study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research. This study’s goal is to contribute to our understanding of homelessness, including the characteristics of homeless encampments and the people who stay in them, as well as local ideas about how to address encampments and their associated costs."

Creighton, Beth, and Tristia M. Bauman, Nicolle L. Jacoby, Tharuni A. Jayaraman (all pro hac vice). (2020). "Amicus Brief of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment." Case No. 1:18-cv-01823-CL, US District Court, District of Oregon, Medford Division. Filed 03/31/20. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dSR2cyXavfu36agWnDZz7FgWWkZGkIbM.

Elia, Cory. "Stop the Sweeps PDX rally at Portland City Hall." Village Portland, 20 December 2019.  https://villageportland.com/2019/12/20/stop-the-sweeps-pdx-rally-at-portland-city-hall/.

Ellickson, Robert C. (1996). "Controlling Chronic Misconduct in City Spaces: Of Panhandlers, Skid Rows, and Public-Space Zoning." The Yale Law Journal, Vol 105, 1165-1248. http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/408.

An influential, controversial, and much-cited article, in which a concept of "public-space zoning" concept is developed. Note that Ellickson proposes the idea for a different purpose, to differentially regulate "misconduct"; but it could be applied to zoned approval or prohibition of public dwelling.  

Ellis, Rebecca (2019). "$4.5 Million Contract To Cleanup Portland's Homeless Campsites May Go To Hazardous Waste Company." OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting),18 Dec 2019. https://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-homeless-campsite-cleanup-contract-rapid-response-bio-clean-city-council/.

Foscarinis, Maria. (1996). "Downward Spiral: Homelessness and Its Criminalization." 14 Yale Law & Policy Review. (1996). https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol14/iss1/2.

Foster, Sheila R. (2013). "Collective Action and the Urban Commons." 87 Notre Dame L. Rev. 57. https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr/vol87/iss1/2Green, Emily (2020). "Lawsuit: Grants Pass criminalizes homelessness while offering no shelter." Street Roots, 25 Apr 2020. https://news.streetroots.org/2020/04/25/lawsuit-grants-pass-criminalizes-homelessness-while-offering-no-shelter.

Harvard Law Review.  "Martin v. City of Boise: Ninth Circuit Refuses to Reconsider Invalidation of Ordinances Completely Banning Sleeping and Camping in Public." 133 Harv. L. Rev. 699, Dec 10 2019. https://harvardlawreview.org/2019/12/martin-v-city-of-boise/.  

Herring, Christopher (2014). "The New Logics of Homeless Seclusion:Homeless Encampments in America's West Coast Cities." City & Community, 23 December 2014.  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/cico.12086.
PDF: https://www.academia.edu/15061831/The_New_Logics_of_Homeless_Seclusion_Homeless_Encampments_in_America_s_West_Coast_Cities_2014_City_and_Community_Vol_13_No._4_285-309.

Herring, Christopher (2015a). "The Roots and Implications of the USA's Homeless Tent Cities." City, Vol. 19, No. 5, 689-701, 2015. (co-authored with Manuel Lutz):  https://chrisherringdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/herring-and-lutz-2015-city.pdf.

Herring, Christopher (2015b). "Evicting the Evicted: Five Misleading Rationales for Homeless Camp Evictions." Progressive Planning Magazine, Fall 2015, 29-32. https://chrisherringdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/ppm_fall2015_herring.pdf.

Herring, Christopher (2015c). "Tent City, America." December 2015: https://placesjournal.org/article/tent-city-america/. 

Herring, Christopher (2015d).  "Sheltering Those in Need: Architects Confront Homelessness" (Introductory Essay for the 2016 Berkeley Prize). https://www.academia.edu/16404074/Sheltering_Those_in_Need_Architects_Confront_Homelessness_2015_Introductory_Essay_for_the_2016_Berkeley_Prize.

Herring, Christopher, and Dilara Yarbrough, Lisa Alatorre (2019). "Pervasive Penality: How the Criminalization of Poverty Perpetuates Homelessness." Social Problems, 2019, 0, 1–19. DOI: 10.1093/socpro/spz004. https://www.academia.edu/38928064/Pervasive_Penality_How_the_Criminalization_of_Poverty_Perpetuates_Homelessness_2019_Social_Problems.

HUCIRP (Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program, City of Portland). "Strategic Plan 2019-2021." https://www.portlandoregon.gov/toolkit/article/731309.

Hunter, Julie, and Paul Linden-Retek, Sirine Shebaya, Samuel Halpert (2014). "Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States." National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, March 2014. https://nlchp.org//wp-content/uploads/2018/10/WelcomeHome_TentCities.pdf. 
[from Acknowledgments: "This report was written and researched by Julie Hunter, Paul Linden-Retek, and Sirine Shebaya, all members of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Law Clinic at Yale Law School. Hope Metcalf, Clinical Lecturer at Yale Law School, supervised the research and edited the report. Eric Tars of the National Law Center was central to conceiving, planning, and editing the report."]  

Joyce, Anna M., and Stanton R. Gallegos. (2020). "Amicus Brief of League of Oregon Cities in Support of League of Oregon Cities in Support of Defendent City of Grants Pass." Case No. 1:18-cv-01823-CL, US District Court, District of Oregon, Medford Division. Filed 02/28/20. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mYnWxwBWLTHTDvgnYoNSFaG95i4qwc57.

Kohn, Margaret (2004). Brave New Neighborhoods: The Privatization of Public Space. (Routledge, 2004).  See particularly "Chapter 8 Homeless-Free Zones: Three Critiques" which responds to [Ellickson 1996] and others. https://chisineu.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/margaret_kohn_brave_new_neighborhoods_the_privatization_of_public_space__2004.pdf.

Manek, Haseena, and Leilani Farha.  "The case for a human rights response to homeless encampments." ["Residents of informal settlements are not recipients of charity nor are they trespassers, criminals or deviants – they are rights-holders and experts in their own lives"]. Now Toronto, Feb 11, 2020. https://nowtoronto.com/news/homeless-encampments-toronto-canada/.

Metraux, Stephen, and Meagan Cusack, Fritz Graham, David Metzger, Dennis Culhane (2019). "An Evaluation of the City of Philadelphia’s Kensington Encampment Resolution Pilot." City of Philadelphia, March 5, 2019. https://www.phila.gov/media/20190312102914/Encampment-Resolution-Pilot-Report.pdf.

Munzer, Stephen R. (1997). "Ellickson on Chronic Misconduct in Urban Spaces: Of Panhandlers, Bench Squatters, and Day Laborers." Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, vol. 32, no. 1, Winter 1997, p. 1-48.

National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). (2010). "Tent Cities in America: A Pacific Coast Report." https://www.nationalhomeless.org/publications/Tent%20Cities%20Report%20FINAL%203-10-10.pdf
Acknowledgements: "Many thanks to the staff, fellows, interns and volunteers of the National Coalition for the Homeless who helped prepare this report. Special thanks to:

  • Christopher Herring, Research Fellow
  • Lauren Tatro, Student Intern, College of the Holy Cross, class of 2010
  • Katherine Streit, Student Intern, American University, class of 2011
  • Lindsey Merritt, Student Intern, James Madison University, class of 2010
  • Michael Stoops, Director of Community Organizing, National Coalition for the Homeless
  • Neil J. Donovan, Executive Director, National Coalition for the Homeless
     

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP). (2017). "Tent City, USA: The Growth of America’s Homeless Encampments and How Communities are Responding." https://nlchp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Tent_City_USA_2017.pdf.

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP). (2019). "Housing Not Handcuffs 2019: Ending the Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities." December 2019. http://nlchp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/HOUSING-NOT-HANDCUFFS-2019-FINAL.pdf.

Parr, Evanie and Rankin, Sara (2018). "It Takes a Village: Practical Guide for Authorized Encampments." Seattle University Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, May 3, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3173224.

Portland, City of. "Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program." https://www.portlandoregon.gov/toolkit/article/562211.

Rankin, Sara K. "Hiding Homelessness: The Transcarceration of Homelessness," (SSRN, 5 December 2019). https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3499195. 

Sand, Kaia. Tweet, Dec 17. https://twitter.com/mkaiasand/status/1207065461990383617.
"Let's call on City Council to put the brakes on a new sweeps contract for Rapid Response. Give our community six months to present a constructive alternative. We certainly can do that. We can imagine a more humane city. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/article/749641 [link to info on proposed contract]."   

Schmid, Thacher. "Oversight Questions Arise as Portland Pays to Clean Up Homeless Campsites." Portland Mercury, Jun 6, 2019.
https://www.portlandmercury.com/news/2019/06/06/26591451/oversight-questions-arise-as-portland-pays-to-clean-up-homeless-campsites.

Services Not Sweeps (Los Angeles). "Our Demands".  [1]. Accessed 8 March, 2020.

Simon, Harry. (1992). "Towns without Pity: A Constitutional and Historical Analysis of Official Efforts to Drive Homeless Persons from American Cities." 66 Tul. L. Rev. 631 (1991-1992).

Solutions Not Sweeps (San Francisco). "Our Demands." accessed 6 March 2020. https://solutionsnotsweeps.org/.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "Robert Martin v. City of Boise, No. 15-35845." Opinion issued September 4, 2018.  https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2018/09/04/15-35845.pdf. 

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "Robert Martin v. City of Boise, No. 15-35845 - Denial of rehearing en banc." Amending the Opinion of Sept 4, 2018.  Martin, 920 F.3d 584. https://casetext.com/case/martin-v-city-of-boise-2.  

US District Court, District of Oregon, Medford Division. "Case No. 1:18-cv-01823-CL: Opinion and Order." 7 August 2019. https://news.streetroots.org/sites/default/files/Mark%20Clarke%20Opinion%20Blake%20v%20Grants%20Pass.pdf.

US District Court, District of Oregon, Medford Division. "Case No. 1:18-cv-01823-CL: Third Amended Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief." (submitted by Walter Fonseca, Eric T. Dahlin, and Edward Johnson, all of Oregon Law Center). 13 November 2019. https://news.streetroots.org/sites/default/files/Blake%20v%20Grants%20Pass%20Amended%20Complaint.pdf.  

USICH - United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (2012). "Searching Out Solutions: Constructive Alternatives to the Criminalization of Homelessness." June 2012. https://www.usich.gov/tools-for-action/searching-out-solutions/.

USICH (2015). "Ending Homelessness for People Living in Encampments Advancing the Dialogue." August, 2015. https://www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/Ending_Homelessness_for_People_Living_in_Encampments_Aug2015.pdf.

Waldron, Jeremy. (2000). "Homelessness and Community." The University of Toronto Law Journal, Vol. 50, No. 4 (Autumn, 2000), pp. 371-406. https://www.ighhub.org/sites/default/files/Homelessness%20and%20Community.pdf.

Waldron, Jeremy. "Community and Property — For Those Who Have Neither." Theoretical Inquiries in Law 10.1 (2009).

Waldron (1991). "Homelessness and the Issue of Freedom." UCLA Law Review 39 295 (December 1991), 296.

Young, Katharine G. (2008). "The Minimum Core of Economic and Social Rights: A Concept in Search of Content." The Yale Journal of International Law, 33:113-175. https://web.archive.org/web/20160423152620/http://www.yale.edu/yjil/PDFs/vol_33/Young%20Final.pdf.

Zielinski, Alex (2019). "Acceptable Losses." [": Property lost in Portland's sweeps of homeless camps keeps the city's most vulnerable at a disadvantage"]. Portland Mercury, 5 Dec 2019. https://www.portlandmercury.com/feature/2019/12/05/27586044/acceptable-losses.

Zielinski, Alex (2019). "Homeless Advocates Push to Delay Camp Cleanup Contract." Portland Mercury, 19 Dec 2019. https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2019/12/19/27674115/homeless-advocates-push-to-delay-camp-cleanup-contract.