No Rest for the Weary: Why Cities Should Embrace Homeless Encampments

Seattle University School of Law, Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, 2016

37 Pages Posted: 11 May 2016 Last revised: 20 May 2016

Samir Junejo

Seattle University School of Law

Suzanne Skinner

Seattle University School of Law

Sara Rankin

Seattle University School of Law

Date Written: May 9, 2016

Abstract

Partly due to their visible nature, homeless encampments are often at the core of the debate about how local governments should deal with homelessness. This brief describes why encampments exist and the many benefits that encampments can provide to their residents. In addition, the brief examines the disruptions of encampments by local governments, most commonly known as “sweeps.” The findings indicate that disruptions of encampments are ineffective, traumatizing to residents, and potentially unconstitutional. The brief concludes with recommendations to policymakers on how they can embrace encampments without failing to pursue more permanent solutions to homelessness.

Keywords: homeless, poverty, encampments, shelter, constitutional law

Suggested Citation

Junejo, Samir and Skinner, Suzanne and Rankin, Sara, No Rest for the Weary: Why Cities Should Embrace Homeless Encampments (May 9, 2016). Seattle University School of Law, Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2776425 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2776425

Samir Junejo

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

Suzanne Skinner

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

1215 E Columbia St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 398-4000 (Phone)

Sara Rankin (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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