The ACLU of Washington’s Homeless Advocacy Toolkit is a set of resources to assist local advocacy efforts against the criminalization of homelessness by municipal governments across Washington. This Toolkit includes template letters, primers on important cases, and sets of talking points on (1) anti-panhandling ordinances (2) the criminalization of camping and (3) sweeps of encampments by city officials. Also included are copies of court decisions and secondary sources on these same issues. While we hope these resources are helpful for advocates combating unjust policies and practices affecting unhoused persons, please note that nothing contained in these materials constitutes legal advice by the ACLU-WA.
The ACLU-WA would like to thank the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project of Seattle University School of Law. Much of this toolkit was possible due to the resources and scholarship made available through HRAP’s work for the rights of Washington’s homeless residents.
In 2012, the City of Kent (“Kent”) passed a zoning ordinance that banned “collective gardens,” which are permitted under Washington’s Medical Use of Cannabis Act (“MUCA”) - RCW 69.51A. The case raises the issue of federal preemption.