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Seattle "breached constitutional rights‚Äö?Ñ?? by refusing tent city

September 27th 2009
Officials in Seattle violated a church's constitutional rights when they refused to consider a land-use permit to set up a tent city for the homeless, the state Supreme Court ruled on 16th July. The high court unanimously reversed previous findings that had sanctioned the City of Woodinville's temporary ban on development to block the Northshore United Church of Christ's effort to host Tent City 4 in a largely residential area in 2006. The suburb's officials violated a constitutional provision that guarantees "absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship,‚Äö?Ñ?? Justice James M Johnson wrote in City of Woodinville v. Northshore United Church of Christ. Cynthia Riggin, the pastor of the 165-member church, said: "We couldn't be more thrilled. They affirmed our notion that we, as a church, have rights to do our mission and our ministry as we see fit." The residents of the camp, currently set up at a church in Redmond, also applauded the decision. "Who says you can't fight City Hall?" said Bruce Thomas, a spokesperson and long-time resident. "If we were allowed alcohol in camp, we'd have one drunken orgy. But we don't, so we're all sipping root beer." Tent City 4 accommodates approximately 60-100 people. Such encampments have mushroomed in a number of US cities over the last few years. In areas like Seattle and Portland, homeless advocacy groups have teamed up with nonprofits or faith-based groups to manage the tent cities as outdoor shelters.

September 2009



Best foot forward

Jumping the gun

Doing the Kiltwalk

Sally forth

Homelessness Hurts

The soup report: The right help in the right place at the right time?

Space at Emmaus

MP's expense and being on the street

Anger at a common scene

Operation Loose Change

London's 15 per cent rise in homeless

Swine flu preparations made

Goings on at Novas

Westminster fails to follow up on street count accuracy

Inquest goes ahead as homeless man's family is found

Charities squabble with politicians over homeless rights

Bum fights caused 27 deaths last year

Professional beggars working in Leicester

Belfast local charged with murdering his nephew

Seattle "breached constitutional rights‚Äö?Ñ?? by refusing tent city

Thames Reach, Blenheim partner up

Homeless services to pay for banning animals

Economic crisis transforming US homeless population

Street Shield 7: The Missing Man


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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484