The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) is partnering with the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (Law Center) to provide members of the media, congressional staff, and activists an opportunity to meet Arnold Abbott and shed light on the national issue of criminalization of people who are homeless and those who are helping them. Arnold Abbott, the internationally renowned activist for homeless people, will be the event’s main speaker. Mr. Abbott has received significant media attention in the past two months for openly refusing to abide Fort Lauderdale, FL’s new law that criminalizes the act of sharing food with homeless and needy persons.
On Thursday night, October 9, 2014, The U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling preventing Wisconsin’s voter ID law from going into effect for the November election. While the law had been found unconstitutional by a federal judge in April, this order overturned several recent decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which had allowed the law to be implemented immediately this fall.
On September 30, 2014 the Law Center will be hosting the 16th Annual McKinney-Vento Awards. This night commemorates the historic legislation that was responsible for establishing the rights of people experiencing homelessness. Since that day 25 years ago, the Law Center has worked tirelessly to maintain and uphold the spirit of the McKinney-Vento Act by addressing the root causes of homelessness so those affected will receive the support, services, and dignity they deserve.
Recently, the Law Center submitted a report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It delineated the many ways that racial discrimination manifests in the social, political, and economic landscape of the United States, disproportionately affecting people of racial and ethnic minorities. After a thorough review, the Committee called on the U.S. to take the steps necessary to address homelessness.
A new report from the Law Center, No Safe Place: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities, details a startling rise in laws criminalizing homelessness across America – more and more U.S. cities are criminally punishing homeless people for engaging in necessary, life-sustaining activity in public places, even when they have no other options.
Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down a Los Angeles law preventing people from sleeping in their cars as a form of basic emergency shelter, when the City has offered them no other housing option. The ruling sends a clear message – that cities around the country cannot end homelessness by simply making it illegal.
The Law Center, along with the ACLU and pro bono counsel from Dechert LLP, won a landmark voter ID case in Wisconsin. U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman struck the law down, ruling that the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act do not permit the State to disenfranchise the more than 300,000 eligible voters, most low income and many homeless, who do not have the photo ID required under the law.
Homeless bills of rights, a new and powerful legislative tool for protecting the rights of homeless Americans, are gaining in popularity across the nation, according to a new report from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (“Law Center”). The report, From Wrongs to Rights: The Case for Homeless Bills of Rights Legislation, describes the need for homeless bills of rights and offers insight into the distinct legislative models that have emerged.
The U.N. Human Rights Committee in Geneva today condemned the criminalization of homelessness in the United States as “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” that violates international human rights treaty obligations, and called upon the U.S. government to take corrective action.
Homeless encampments have been documented in almost every state across the country, with many more going unreported, according to a new report released today from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School.
The Law Center joined ACLU of Idaho in the lawsuit against the City of Boise. Today, U.S. District Federal Court Judge Edward J. Lodge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in ACLU of Idaho v. City of Boise. In doing so, the Court enjoined the City of Boise from enforcing its new Anti-Solicitation Ordinance (ORD-34-13) scheduled to take effect today, January 2, 2014.