The Law Center

 Message from the Director & Founder

We challenge laws that punish people for homelessness and poverty, and that make it even harder for them to find housing and jobs. And, we uphold the right of homeless people to vote—and to influence decisions that affect their lives. 

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Maria Foscarinis on ACLU: the Criminalization of Homelessness
Listen to Law Center Executive Director Maria Foscarinis discuss the criminalization of homelessness on the ACLU's "Podcast: At Liberty." 

State Index on Youth Homelessness
The Law Center and the True Colors Fund released the State Index on Youth Homelessness, a first-of-its-kind resource that evaluates all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their efforts to prevent and end youth homelessness. Read our press release, view the online interactive map, and read the full report.

The state index received media coverage in the Associated PressVariety MagazineBillboard Magazine, and the Washington Post. Special thanks to the Raikes Foundation, Latham & Watkins LLP, The Carlyle Group, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and DLA Piper LLP for their contributions to the report. 
9th Circuit Says Camping Bans Unconstitutional
In September of 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that homeless persons cannot be punished for sleeping outside in the absence of adequate alternatives in Martin v Boise. The Law Center, Idaho Legal Aid Services, and Latham & Watkins LLP filed the case in 2009. The decision has made great impact already; view news coverage here.

Proposed Public Charge Rule for Immigrant Families is Harmful
The public charge rule proposed by the Trump Administration would damage the fabric of society. Punishing families in need of a home, food, or healthcare is poor policy. Read the Law Center's comment.
  In the News

New Report: Serving and Protecting? Survey Results on Homeless New Yorkers' Experience with Law Enforcement

In January of 2018, the Law Center partnered with volunteers from Goldman Sachs Pro Bono Committee, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP to conduct a survey of people experiencing homelessness in New York City, specifically their interactions with law enforcement. Read the report here.

Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign Demands Repeal of Panhandling Bans

On August 28, the Law Center and partners of the Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign launched a nationwide effort to strike down bans on panhandling. Advocates in a dozen states are demanding more than 200 cities repeal panhandling bans and redirect resources to housing. Learn more here

Law Center Challenges Greensboro's Unconstitutional Panhandling Ordinance

The Law Center is joining the ACLU of North Carolina and Legal Aid of North Carolina in representing three homeless people in a federal lawsuit seeking to block a Greensboro ordinance that violates free speech, equal protection, and due process rights of people who ask for contributions in public places in the city. Read the full press release here