Homeless Encampments: Constitutional and Practical ConcernsOctober 11, 2022
Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger’s newest partner, René A. Ortega, gave a presentation this past month at the 2022 Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. In his talk, titled “Homeless Encampments En Nuestras Comunidades: Navigating Constitutional and Practical Concerns,” Rene and his co-panelists, Mindy Mitchell of Homebase and Mandy Chapman Semple of Clutch Consulting, described solutions encompassing effective crisis response; taking a community-wide, systemic approach; increasing income; and most of all, providing housing.
The Housing First approach the panelists discussed provides homeless persons with immediate access to housing, then offers them the supportive services they may need to develop long-term stability and sustain that housing. This approach holds that the underlying issues contributing to a person’s homelessness are best addressed after that person is relieved from the daily stress of being homeless.
The panelists detailed the constitutional limits to abating homeless encampments, giving examples from several lawsuits, and discussed the practical considerations and alternatives cities can explore when decommissioning homeless encampments.
Contact René A. Ortega for more information.