March 31, 2017
Earlier today, ArchCity Defenders and Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinic filed a major lawsuit to establish the City’s responsibility to its homeless residents not just on a temporary but an ongoing basis.
At the same time we filed suit to stop the City from warehousing poor people in uninhabitable and inadequate temporary shelters like the “St. Louis Weed Control” garage run by the Forestry Division.
This represents a hurried response to a self-created crisis by the City of St. Louis, which has had several years to prepare for the closure of NLEC. The City’s response is inadequate. Warehousing the poor is simply not a solution.
We had an emergency hearing this afternoon at which the judge decided he wanted to hear more testimony on the important issues we raised. We will be back in court on Wednesday, April 1st at 10:00 AM to have an evidentiary hearing on this matter.
All we seek is for the City to meet its obligations to its most vulnerable residents. Missouri law states that “[p]oor persons shall be relieved, maintained and supported by the county of which they are inhabitants” (Section 205.580). The City of St. Louis was sued 32 years ago under this same law and is still not meeting its obligations.
For more information on the lawsuit, click here.
Z. Gorley, Communications Director at ArchCity Defenders