About

This blog is intended to be a research guide for homeless people trying to learn about their legal rights and liabilities. It presents typical legal questions that arise in homeless life and then provides general information by introducing likely areas of law to investigate, showing search terms, and giving leads to primary law sources. The content of this blog is not tailored to anybody’s particular situation and should not be considered legal advice.

The administrator of this site is Linda Tashbook, Esq., an attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and professional law librarian. She obtained her Juris Doctorate and Masters Degree in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh.Her private law practice emphasizes legal aid for the homeless.Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ms. Tashbook coordinated public library outreach to families in public housing and homeless shelters, served on the Allegheny County Runaway and Homeless Youth Task Force as well as the Allegheny County Homeless Education Network, and volunteered with various programs benefiting and involving homeless families.

In the comments sections following each question in this blog, please write about your relevant legal experiences with homeless life and please add links to resources that would be helpful to other readers who are interested in homeless people’s legal issues.

172 Comments »

  1. Panch Bharathan said

    A good primer for Librarians.

    • gina said

      I am homeless and trying to stay in a hotel until the end of April I am trying to find a room for a couple to live we are tired and in need of help can any one out their help us we turn every where but no help. Please help. Gina

  2. GREAT! I am a Paralegal Student at Roosevelt University here in Chicago who has been the victim of legal thuggery for over four years. The details are at

    http://mercylakefront.blogspot.com/

    As a victim and Paralegal I’m very interested in helping others in the same situation. Gotta run for a test in the Federal Rules of Evidence but I’ll be back after noon today.

    • connie mendez said

      Please, if you are still in the position to help. Ive been seriously HAD by my x husband.i was married 18 years. I was a fulltime stay at home mom. My x husband built a very successful hvac business in my name. He tricked me to sell it to his dad for pennies. He became an employee and fudges his numbers. Not the worst part…..he had stopped paying our mortgage for 11 months. He assured me no one gets the house so i signed the deed, believing he would clean up the finances beforw he left. No… He modified the loan with my name on it bit off of the deed. To date he dates my (then) best friend, has a very successful business in his dads name and he lives in our 400k home. I work three jobs, on public assistance and move from apartment to apartment…PLEASE IF YOU ARE NOT IN THE POSITION TO HELP PLEASE REFER ME TO SOMEONE WHO IS

      • Sheri said

        You are saying exactly what I am going through… I lost everything and my ex-to be hid every asset in his friends names.. He has a private biz so he is shielded from the courts.. I have lived in my car and have struggled triing to hold my head up with my two sons… Now I can’t even get auto insurance because I am homeless… I don’t know where to turn… I have a job, work hard, rent is just too high.. I am alone and very afraid..

  3. Lesley L. Bautista said

    I became HOMELESS when a calif lsn notary public and wife FORGED/NOTARIZED/RECORDED/ TRANSFERRED my PROPERTY to themselves,(he notarized GRANT DEED I granted my house to his wife whom was going as her recently dead husbands name) they paid the soon to be ex-husband $20,000.oo to sign them separate grant deed . The local law enforcement refused to file criminal charges felony forgery/fraud. I believe they bribed a commissioner,law enforcement/detective is personal friend of notary,my attorney, ect, (very wealthy)
    ANYONE that can offer advice on how I can file in federal court , I need to find legalities to keep within statues since it’s been years, I am seeking justice.
    THANK-YOU ALL
    LLB

  4. SharkGirl said

    I became homeless when I wouldn’t become corrupted in government contracting. I have been a pro se litigant now for six years, and the cases I’m involved in have escalated because I exposed the corruption.

    Now, my blog is frequently visited by the House, Senate, Pentagon, many military domains and law firm sites.

    I am on the edge of homelessness again, at any given time, because of my refusal (or stubbornness) to quit the cases. I have been offered enough bribes to have paid for a home.

    When I reach the other side of these cases, I hope there is something I can do for the homeless, as they are deeply in my heart.

    • wendy said

      you are with a heart girl, don’t give up, god is there with you

    • cleveland said

      There is nothing here but the threat of the cold empty space of the great beyond. The impersonal encounters by other so called humans that appear inhumane even unto themselves, the endless misery in the streets, the haunted warmth of violated houses and the threat of a further curse one does not even know why one has to possess. The endless acquiring to feel better about oneself, the indignation of the stripping of another to break his confidence, and the ‘life at all costs’ chant as we sell off the very last of any dignity we may have ever possessed no matter how minute.
      The forced selling of one’s body for indoor shelter, the attacks on the workforce that cause early heart problems, the abuse by both men and women in this miserable and unhappy world of existence, the threat, the constant very real threat of homelessness at old age, the forced by society inability to pay bills even if ones intensions ore good, a forced life of degradation no matter how far one looks back on it, wondering how in the world one made it so far in such unconsciousness, now old and remorseful and more that a little disgusted. No wonder one can only pursue happiness and never attain it. No wonder we are in such misery and depressed no matter who we are. You would not trade places with me for nothing and I am not so sure I envy your life either really.

      • Barney said

        Amen!

      • Faith G said

        I understand your pain and I understand the things you and other’s are haveing to go through in order to eat and for shelter ect…. please please I say it is a test please please I say don’t lose your faith. (james 1;12) says Blessed is the man who endures temptation: for when he has been approved he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to thoses who love Him. God is in control you must keep the Faith or your soul will stay in that unhappy place.

      • I have a question and a simple one at that. What if God didn’t love you for being different?

      • Thanx, Jesus loves you…

      • I am on the streets of Riverside Ca.for some time now. I made a conscious choice before I took this drastic measure but I had no idea, not a clue of what was to come. Prior to my quick descent to the wilderness, my so called life was on a downward spiral to hell. Yes I cant deny that I am a sinner and that I am flawed and imperfect and even worse that Jesus died for my sins. Amazingly Christs love is perfect just like He is and even though I’m damaged from the onset of my existance stemming from abuse and addiction and self sabbotage and auto- prophecy. This is not a pity party this is the actualization of a new creation that is happening as I am typing these words from someone who used to be afraid of living to the extent of being a cutter as well as a people pleaser. I can go on and on about my ” victim” days or bring this story home , no pun given. I wouldn’t change my mind for the world or all the money, success or fame in it.I would do it all over again for having the priveledge to recieve Gods only Begotten Son my Lord and King as my Saviour and only True Friend, Jesus Christ is all that and more and may God Almighty and Heavenly Father bless all those who believe and bless all who are corrupt in Jesus name.

    • Faith G said

      I want you to know God sees all and I want to say I am well pleased that you stood up for the truth.Also keep your faith and God will provide for you like he always has.1 Timothy 6:12 says fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses

    • joseph n kutteh said

      Good bless you iam a mentally ill person in suffolk county new york that has been destroyed by a non profit houseing nightmare thought it was transition houseing go two vessid state schooling work program one year placement well hell five years on a model home run by a evil corrupt landlord for profit no help five years with displaced tenant  one i was exposed two infectious disease almost died in local hospital this profit modavadied mofia is selling humans as lab ratts and as if my homeless life was a horrific enough well my hell iam dead just waiting for my deliverence two christ my body will be pecked by science lab techs tho they where successful on that my soul they cant touch owner is god keeper is christ pray for simaller if not worse off people i always do. Xojo.

  5. T-Bone Law said

    Shark Girl and Bautista, your stories are incredibly interesting albeit sad. I wish the best of luck to you two.

  6. A homeless advocate said

    The lengthy and scholarly pages contained within this website about civil rights and the homeless may be legally accurate, but police interactions with the homeless are far different reality. I have experience working directly with the street homeless as well as years of association with the ACLU. The homeless are among the most vulnerable of our society; they have no power and few personal advocates. The police are often under direction from their mayor’s office, or superiors to make sweeps of known homeless gathering places. In the moments of fear and confusion the homeless victim has little negotiating power with the police; demands for civil rights are treated as ridiculous rantings; “I’ll call my lawyer” only amuses the police who may respond with physical abuse. While the legalities are interesting, they are not the realities. Interactions with police are not opportunities for negotiation on the part of the homeless. Instead, the homeless need to cooperate as a matter of self preservation, forfeiting their civil rights in order to not be further victimized in that situation. Educating both the police and the public as to why people are homeless and encouraging compassion and understanding are more effective strategies than quoting laws and legal cases.

  7. SharkGirl said

    Thank you T-Bone.

    Homeless Advocate, I agree with you. It breaks my heart to see the homeless out there on the streets and yet I know some of them are there by choice. I also know a person can shut down all hope and just plain give up.

    I’ve been there with my cases, and sleeping in my car with not enough gas to keep the car warmed up in the middle of winter. I’ve cried myself to sleep so many nights, and was on the verge of just becoming numb in my mind and my heart.

    I was one of the blessed ones. I had a car to call “home”. Had I of been on the streets like others, I don’t know if anyone would have been able to reach me. You just get to the point where you shut down.

    I’m working with someone who is bringing attention in Macon, Georgia, the day after Thanksgiving, to the homeless problem here. She’s going to set up temporary shelter on the public street downtown and demonstrate the need for a solution. I’m going to write a story for a newspaper I’m starting, and hoping to do something for our area, on a more permanent basis than our shelters can provide.

    There must be a way to reach into the hearts of these people and give them hope, no matter what their state of mind of is.

    • Faith G said

      I agree their is only one way for everyone who can help. show them love by helping them I once had to go through being homeless with 3 children sleeping in cars and sleeping in shelters and moving from one city to the next now I’m about to graduate with my degree with criminal justice and from me being homeless due to domestic violence my driver lic was suspended and the courts is asking me for $6,000 to move on with my life and I don’t have it. I’m a single mom and it’s hard. But I trust in God and he will make a way out of no way.Like he always does so I’m being lead by the holyspirit of truth to a different light in life. In jesus name

      • dennis valentino said

        I am going threw the same things as you I beleave in god and I trust him but the constant harassment and lack of.funds are so over welming im not in school but I am home less im so tired I just want to give up but for some reason I cant it id a battle feild out here every day is a battle …

  8. Gregory L.Piso said

    Hello !
    I would like to organise kind of this blog in Poland. There is a lot of homeless people here, but the are no good solutions in polish law. Please, help, and contact me ( avicoolaria@wp.pl )

  9. Steve at home said

    Sqatter’s Right: My landlord ‘walked away’ from the mortgage on the property of the apartment in which i reside with my family. he returned my April 2008 rent check, uncashed. No one has come forward to collet rent or evict me since; can I claim sqatter’s rights to ownership of the property?

  10. Suz said

    I have a question about adverse possession.
    I (along with my three dogs, 1 cat) are about to loose our home to forclosure.
    I am disabled and receive $950 per month on SS disability.
    I found a property in my area (Near Tucson, Az) that has been vacant for about 7 years (the owner inherited it from his deceased father)
    I called the owner in RedondoBeach California to ask if he would be willing to sell or rent the property to me. He said ” it is not a good time for me to sell right now”

    The house is falling apart, has wood rot, roof issues, lot of broken trees, trash everywhere. It looks likely that there are rats in the house, but I see the potential in this house…I could fix it up.
    The owner is paying taxes,but it is obvious that he does not want to care for the property. One odd note is that the owner is paying the gas bill, but not the electric
    So, can I legally take possession of the the property? is this considered trespassing in any way or doing anything illegal?
    From what I can understand about Adverse Possession, I think I can take possession and wait and see if the owner wants to evict me?

    What a sad thing that someone would let a nice house just go to ruin, especially when I could keep it up and it would give me and my rescue pets a home instead of the street.
    Any advise on how to proceed would be appreciated.
    Thank you!
    Suz

    • Dee said

      Did anyone give you some advice on the adverse possession. I am in the same situation

    • Call on Jesus and He will give you the anwer that you seek and yes the proof is in the pudding and chin up.

  11. Slum Jack said

    I’ve been homeless for just about a year now. This predicament has seriously delayed my own pro per legal pursuits. ANY resources possibly useful for this can be important. I notice that this blog/site appears to have idled for some time. I also notice that this is typically the case with so many “homeless” oriented things.

    I hadn’t been prepared for the local official corruptions and the shocking non-help, even counterproductive influence, of supposed “help” organizations like “Legal Aid” and the county courts “self help program”. The many outfits proclaiming themselves as purposed with “helping the homeless” have turned out to be far more about paying the staff’s rent/mortgages than anything else.

    As increasing numbers, and types, of people become displaced and disenfranchised like this, I suspect that true class warfare grows more imminant.

  12. Bertha Dubon said

    HI I’M LEGALY GOING THROUGH FORCLOSURE AND NEED SOME ADVISE, CAN I FILE FOR SQUATTER’S LAW/ADVERSE POSESSION AND HOW? A DESPERATE WOMEN WHO DOESN’T HAVE ANYWERE TO GO.

  13. BY THE HOMELESS FOR THE HOMELESS blog has added you to their blog list. THANKS! COME VISIT US!

  14. Mike said

    Linda,
    Great job and great idea. This is a nice way to give back to the community. I will start referencing your website throughout mine when I feel it would be appropriate.

    Thanks for helping the homeless community!
    Mike

  15. Phill said

    Hello,
    I am homeless out in Sacramento,California.They have this not camping law in the city.The Mayor said back in the summer that there was $1.8 million in stimulus funds for housing the homeless.Then later on he gives out vouchers for the homeless to stay in a motel for a week.Cal Expo shelters was closed when they shut down Tent City.
    The Capital of California is a suck hole for the homeless that want Safe Ground. As I see it, they want something for nothing.I would rather live in a house than a tent.Most of the homeless here get harassed by the police about sleeping on the sidewalks or even sitting on the sidewalks.

    The court specifically ruled that the city of Los Angeles could not roust derelicts off the streets unless the taxpayers had previously provided a cozy shelter for every conceivable vagrant that drifts in. In other words, the taxpayers must provide shelter or the homeless have the right, per the Constitution, to involuntarily sit, lie and sleep anywhere they damn well please on city sidewalks.

  16. Pam said

    Is it legal for homeless shelters to make residents homeless simply because they have a personal issue with that person and not from anything they had done to other residents nor themselves? My friend lives in a Georigia shelter and is now back on the street. She had complied to all the requirements and is devistated the director had a personal vendetta. Thank you for any assistance.

    • Rex King said

      I would not hold my breath on legal assistance from anyone over being expelled from a homeless shelter over a personality conflict. I have stayed in a shelter, but it was run by a friend. I knew people who stayed in decent shelters run by Christian organizations, as well. They showed me how sometimes a dishonest person could con the staff and do, or cause things like you describe. Because they have the honest people fooled these honest people are convinced that the scammers and con artists who have been placed in limited authority are on the level and fair.

      As regards the director, it is rather like accusing a police officer; the courts (assuming they will hear your case at all) assume the person in authority is more reliable than the homeless person. I am truly sorry for your friend.

  17. Tax Law UK said

    She had complied to all the requirements and is devistated the director had a personal vendetta. Thank you for any assistance.Great job and great idea. This is a nice way to give back to the community. I will start referencing your website throughout mine when I feel it would be appropriate.
    ******************************************************************
    mathews.jennifer

  18. Tax Law UK said

    Shark Girl and Bautista, your stories are incredibly interesting albeit sad. I wish the best of luck to you two.Great job and great idea. This is a nice way to give back to the community. I will start referencing your website throughout mine when I feel it would be appropriate.**
    **********
    BENZ

  19. Great idea – if any of you guys are able to help our event to help homeless women and kids in Australia, we would be eternally grateful. Our link is above

  20. kthln04jl05wshpn1964 said

    My relevant legal experiences with homeless life has been from one state of affairs to another beginning with being assigned into a shelter system where clients and staff may have had relations outside the scope of staff and client, my own experience was sexual harassment from a male staff working within the female shelter and who would upon reporting to work would personally search for me or come to my room and insist on me taking a shower while he was on duty whether or not I had just completed one before his arrival, he would state that he had not witnessed me doing so; when this was reported to anyone who would listen was removed from services.
    I then contacted legal services in Pennsylvania and I was later informed by a legal attorney “that maybe I should have kept my mouth shut and I would still have a place in the shelter system,” this was also reported to their executive staff who backup their lawyer and dropped my case; another state of affairs was receiving services at the ARCH in Texas, for the first few years things was pretty good until I invested benefits given from an award of denied services into a franchise the ARCH began to view my mail as being in conflict with their policy regarding client receiving mail at either their location or their post office box for which both had been provided to me for my mail to be delivered without any statement as to whether the mail being personal or of any business nature, as the executive informed other and myself that my business was a scam, fraudulent and not a legal business at such time all my mail was returned to senders and I was served with a notice by the executive staff and a sergeant of APD not to use their services or to return to the premises or I would be arrested for trespassing.
    I had also lost my housing due the ARCH policy to provide clients mail in a timely manner, due to housing authority giving me several times to amend the lateness of my responses I had attempted to have numerous meeting with the ARCH staff to improve their response and accountability for clients mail by suggesting that they provide a log for any client who pick up mail from their location that would have the client’s signature, date of pickup maybe the amount of mail or sender’s name like housing or some kind of documentation of mail delivery and pick up that would provide proof for the clients and security for the ARCH, this was places by documentation system for the ARCH that only placed the person on a list for mail, it fail to show the habit of the client pickup or the proof that the client did get such mail and after I had lost my housing and the Arch was informed they added a housing list for clients with mail from housing and when a very intimate friend also lost his housing and the ARCH was informed the Arch typed a letter to the housing authority explaining the events that cause my friend to lose his housing with contact and sympathy.
    Back in 1980s I became homeless with my three children, back then the system was very supportive and helpful, that took me out on housing visits to pick my new home for not only for me but for my three children, the home I decided on to raise my children, I lived there from 1990 thru 1998, when my landlord was report for harassment, it did not matter the I lived in this home all these years without incidents my rent was paid every month by case workers, I became homeless again because my landlord went outside the jurisdiction of my resident and convinced a judge to evict me from my home of eight years without a lawyer, notice or hearing with me my homelessness continued from 1998 through 2007.
    I am disappointed to not be able to provide or add links to resources that would be helpful to other readers who are interested in homeless people’s legal issues, but due to my lack of addiction of any kind the homeless services or system has not been of much help or support. I intend one day to write a documentation of such events with names and location for a system profiting on addiction and homelessness and not the circumstance of homelessness.

  21. Great job and great idea. This is a nice way to give back to the community. Is it legal for homeless shelters to make residents homeless simply because they have a personal issue with that person and not from anything they had done to other residents nor themselves? Thank you for any assistance.Realy it’s a Great job and great idea.

  22. Carol Hansen said

    I live in San Francisco, I have befriended a homeless guy with a cat, they both live in the Transbay Terminal, her in SF, this building is going to be raised and there is no where for this man and all the others who have call this building home for years, Some have been in this building for over ten years. I recently talked with a lawyer friend and was told that the homeless have no rights to this building as squaters, I had hoped that the mear fact that they have been there for so long ,that they might some some legal president, but no,than I thought of getting an injuction to stop the tearing down the building until these foks could be placed in a home of some kind, but just like all other places, the money talks louder than the need for houseing for the poor, helpless.
    How can I help these people fight to get in to a better situation, this building is going soon and we have yet to help these people.

    • administrator said

      (private reply)

  23. donnie scarbrough said

    i was kicked out of college because i am homeless. i tried to find lawters and other people to help me and no one will. anybody got any resources for this in texas call me at 817-879-2802

    • It is also interesting to note that in Portland, the police are using “disorderly conduct” charges to arrest people who are part of the Occupy Portland protests. In some cases, they seem to be using the laws used to remove homeless individuals from the areas set aside for the Occupy movement. Between October 6 and October 20th of 2011, 11 individuals were arrested for disorderly conduct alone.

  24. Amy Muniz said

    I was wondering if a homeless person if living in a van, is it possible to purchase car insurance without an address so that there are no issues with cops?

    • administrator said

      State auto insurance laws do require you to carry some sort of coverage on your automobile and you generally do have to prove that you are eligible to be insured in that state by providing the insurance company with documentation of your living in and, if applicable, owning a vehicle in that state. In other words, insurance companies expect that the address you list on your policy application will match the address on your automobile registation and driver’s license, both of which require you to notify state authorities when you change addresses. Also, because the insurance company has legal status as your agent in matters connected with that policy it does need to know where and how to contact you.

      To obtain a driver’s license you have to show that you truly are the person you claim to be. The federal REAL ID Act requires states to cross check other identification sources when issuing driver’s licenses. A summary of that federal law is available from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty at http://www.nlchp.org/content/pubs/REAL_ID_Fact_Sheet_20083.pdf. The Department of Homeland Security has the official rule at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/08-140.htm. Each state has the flexibility to design its drivers license identification law in ways that accommodate the homeless and long distance truck drivers and others who do not reside in a fixed location. Some states, for example, accept ID verification letters from homeless service providers. The most efficient way to find your state’s current identification rule is to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles. http://www.dmv-department-of-motor-vehicles.com/ You should be able to use e-mail to contact your DMV and simply ask what documentation they want you to bring. If you can’t get satisfaction from the DMV, get in touch with your local homeless service provider and ask that agency to help you get an address exception to obtain a driver’s license. http://www.nationalhomeless.org/directories/index.html

      If your state driver’s license ID law does not yet have a way for you to obtain a license (and, secondarily, insurance), you can contact your state legislature and petition to have the law amended. The National Conference of State Legislatures has lots of REAL ID material for state legislators to read http://www.ncsl.org/Default.aspx?TabID=756&tabs=951,72,110#110 because state lawmakers have been developing these new identification laws for a couple of years.

      Related sources:
      The Insurance Information Institute has several helpful fact sheets about state financial responsibility laws. http://www.iii.org/factbook/pc_by_line/autolaws/ You can find an individual state’s auto insurance laws through its insurance commission. http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm

  25. Steve Lilienthal said

    Ms. Tashbrook:

    I am researching an article for LJ about the homeless and libraries. The idea is that the library can do positive things to help the homeless and not all homeless are nuisances as commonly stereotyped. For that reason, I wondered if you knew of interesting programs in PA, the midwest, or northeast, that would deal more with families or adults and might address the needs of the homeless in rural and suburban areas.

    My phone number is 202-232-9113 and my e-mail address is steve_lilienthal@yahoo.com

    Any help you could offer would be appreciated.

    • donald whitling said

      Hi steve my name is peggy sue,I am homeless,using library to stay warmm Im 49yrs old my life and stories of the road are for a book to help others thepros and cons of the steets bars low housing places abandoned buildings,hitchhiking…I have exspierienced,hell,and priceless times and places,i,m sitiing here hungry and wet from the rain looking up places to help me with food and a coat,mines to thin..I just got doignoied with lung cancer,and I,m very lonely,just lost mother last year,,hope to talk with you some day,but if you have any pen pals,i sure would like acristmas card from someone..my number is 412-230-0065 I,m using a friends e_mail right now..I,ll have my own in a couple of days

  26. Very nice article, I will constantly visit here to see what suggestions are posted for the homeless and guide others as well to this blog.
    thanks

  27. Thanks for providing help to homeless people, there are not a lot of blogs that are doing this great job. I appreciate your efforts and would contribute if required.

  28. Nae said

    I had a squatter on my land He had me arrested It was 4mos till court looked @my deed but gave him 1/3 of MY land Finally he had to move In retaliation had me arrested again Court gave him power to keep me off my land I’m now 54yro & homeless due to his lies 18Xs same judge I lost all Went from paid off to nothing Do I have retaliation against judge? He put restrain order on me I tried to dissolve it Is it usual for me to go 1st & defend myself w/o knowing what I’m defending? I hv papers go back 3yrs of 3 ppl trying to evict him

  29. Thank you Great post ! I am on the edge of homelessness again, at any given time, because of my refusal (or stubbornness) to quit the cases.

  30. smkeast said

    I am a 53 yr old woman who is homeless in southern cal. living in her car. Where I live, the city has a municipal code that states you can’t live in your vehicle. It seems to me that is a law that is for homeless. Right along with fining people for feeding us, and you can’t be here or you can’t be there.

    Anyway, my first ticket given was a notice to appear. I appeared, and plead “not guilty”. The fine for this “living in vehicle” ticket is $465. At the “trial” it was dismissed. either the cop didn’t show, or the Judge figured it was stupid??

    2 days later, a really rude cop came at about 2:30am at the “spot” I have been staying at off and on since February and gave me another ticket for the same thing. I told him about the dismissal, but he said “so, here is another one”. But, this time it is a parking citation. And the fine is only $116? So, now I can’t go to my spot.. A parking structure that is not used at night, a little warmer, and definately a drier place to “stay”. I always clean up after myself before I leave, etc. It’s been an ok place for 8 months?

    I moved, and, that same rude cop gave me another ticket for the same thing and told me to leave town…??

    I’m not sure what to do. I am going to contest them, but don’t know what will happen.. This cop is going to keep giving me tickets every time he sees me?? That’s rediculous..isn’t it?

    typical homeless dilemma.
    from Sue a 99 weeker;
    53 and homeless in southern cal

    • Amy Muniz said

      Come to AZ! The cops here seem pretty friendly to the homeless.

      • Rex King said

        Unless you are in a town where they are not. It is good if you are going, or thinking of going to a Town to check the internet. Most towns have resources, like libraries, work search, and community centers and most of those offer internet. Phoenix is listed as one of the worst places in the country to be homeless. Just saying.

  31. viviana said

    I live in a shelter in santa barbara, cali with my 3 year old daughter and share a room with 2 other single moms. My things were ransacked and gone through while I was gone from their shelter per their policy. Do I have any privacy rights? Can I sue??

  32. I am a homeless advocate in Washington, DC. I was recently the subject of a massive media frenzy due to my use of social media to advocate for the homeless.

    A friend named Laura Russello who works for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (WLCH) just started a blog. She is trying to connect with others who serve the homeless and to bring traffic to the site. Feel free to check out the blog at http://washingtonlegalclinic.wordpress.com/ There may be room to collaborate in the area of legal services for the homeless and/or using social media to publicize your cause.

  33. Mooch said

    If I can help you or someone you know in any way, just let me know. It costs you nothing to send me an email. I’m showing a different side of homelessness while living in my car in Los Angeles. http://doingithomeless.com/today-marks-6-months-being-homeless/

  34. TexasTerry said

    Is it legal for homeless shelters to conduct room searches and order a person to submit to drug testing more than one time in a week?
    This happened to a friend at a transitional shelter in Texas. He was doing well and was in an advanced phase and looking forward to getting a job. Now he’s banned because he refused a drug test. I don’t blame him one bit.

  35. Christine said

    I am on the verge of homelessness in PA. I moved here to get married. Obviously that didn’t work out. My name is on the least to the apt we have together but he’s threatening to kick me out. I know he can’t do it easily or quickly so hopefully I have a little time to figure something out. If anyone knows my legal rights and can help me out I’d appreciate it. I’m seriously considering living in my car because being here with him isn’t safe I don’t think, but if I do that I don’t know my legal rights or if it is even legal to live in my car here.

    Thanks so much.

    Christine

    • I can understand your worries about being kicked out of the apartment. Since you are named on the lease, you are worried about whether you would be responsible for paying the landlord if your ex-boyfriend abandons or trashes the place after you move out. To find out how to remove yourself from the lease obligations, first contact the landlord and ask for instructions. If that doesn’t work out, click on the “legal aid providers” link at http://www.palawhelp.org and get in touch with your local legal aid office to ask if they can help you get out of the lease.

      Since you are on the verge of homelessness, you are worried about finding affordable housing. Here is a link to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency which has several helpful tools for renters including a database that helps you locate affordable apartments with the characteristics you seek and in the community you want. http://www.phfa.org/consumers/renters/default.aspx

      • Chris in San Jose said

        Just a cautionary footnote: I was living with my wife in a house owned by her, and legally I could not be summarily ejected without a court order because we’d been living together there for years. There had been no domestic violence or other cause for a legal order against me.

        Regardless, I was locked out one day without warning and the police not only refused to become involved, they also refused me permission to re-enter the home accompanied by them, to remove my own property. They aren’t supposed to do this but in real life, they please themselves — don’t expect the law to protect you.

        My wife showed them the deeds to the house, with her name on them. They told me that this gave her the right to throw anyone out without warning if she wanted. This is untrue. But the police can do and say what they like in these situations unless criminal law is being broken, which it wasn’t.

        My wife then promised the police that she would, herself, allow me to enter the home later on. She told the police, honestly, that there had been no domestic violence. She then immediately took out an injunction against me claiming domestic violence and preventing me from entering the house.

        I was later told that all lawyers will go for a domestic violence injunction based on whatever stories the defendant makes up, because it’s one of the few court documents that is free. Judges grant the orders regardless of evidence, just to be on the safe side, so don’t expect the chance to defend yourself against this.

        I have been homeless ever since and for 18 months now, and am surviving. It can be done, and can be much better than the situation you’ve just come out of. Just beware of trusting the law, especially if your partner is slick and convincing. It may come down to the court protecting whomever makes the claim of domestic violence first, regardless of the facts.

  36. Shelb said

    I am doing a huge report on homeless in America and how I believe drug tests should be required at the shelters in America, is there any information you can give me about laws regarding this or any fun facts about rules with drugs in shelters?

    • When asserting that one segment of the population should be singled out for drug testing, you need to be familiar with statistics from the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Justice http://www.justice.gov/dea/statistics.html in order to substantiate your hypothesis. You might also want to read about the DEA’s major operations to ascertain whether there is evidence that the homeless population has been significantly involved in illegal drug-related activities. http://www.justice.gov/dea/major/major.htm

      Here is the Controlled Substances Act http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/index.html which tells why and when possession and distribution of certain drugs can be illegal.

      Testing for drugs is a form of search and seizure typically conducted as a form of law enforcement. So, to understand the reasons for and scope of that authority, you need to read the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and some of the decisions from court cases interpreting that Amendment. At Justia.com, you can see the full-text of the Amendment http://supreme.justia.com/constitution/amendment-04/01-search-and-seizure.html and then you can see summary explanations of how parts of the Amendment have been interpreted in various contexts. http://supreme.justia.com/constitution/amendment-04/index.html Here, for example, is the summary content about drug testing. http://supreme.justia.com/constitution/amendment-04/24-drug-testing.html

      The American Civil Liberties Union fights against abuses of civil rights, such as those protected by the Fourth Amendment. A convenient way to find out about cases questioning whether various types of drug testing violate the Fourth Amendment is to use the phrase “drug testing” in the search box at the ACLU website. http://www.aclu.org/ Here, for example is a report, with links to the underlying court documents, about a court overruling a University’s policy of requiring all incoming students to be tested for illegal drug use. http://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform/judge-temporarily-halts-colleges-unlawful-drug-testing-program

      Since your paper is “huge” you might want to go beyond reading and investigate your hypothesis by interviewing homeless service providers and police in your community.

    • Barney said

      Drug test and then what? What good would it serve to put a drug addict on the streets and go hungry? That is what these places are for, it is the end of the road for most. Have some sympathy, do not judge, there must be other issues you can take up?

  37. krwana said

    Hi im kewana a single mother of 3beautiful children I just recently began to lose every things my car just got repod a few months ago with me only owing a few thousands an to make that worst igot scammed out a house now myself an my children are staying at a homeless shelter today being Christmas Eve I’d like to know is it against the law for squatters to squat outside Detroit

  38. Eddie santacruz said

    Well I ned a lawyers help about a year I was convited of posetion of meth I went to jail and was given to choises fist one I do 30days and get release to a recovery home .second was do 120days and no program we ll I took tje second choise no program I do my time and get out and im issued a p.o and he decides I need.a.program I listen well I have two kids and a wife and a retraning order in the middle well im a month in to the program and my wife and kids move to mexico im going nuts well then I aske my p.o .if I can go see my kids he sas to me I cant im in arogram it was like if im in jail well he dosent grant me that and I take action I go and visits my kids and im not even 48 hours I come back and je decides to violare me first violatin im doing super good but I do that mistake I cross to mexico . But im not triing to do more jail for something that wasent bad is thir a way that I can get granted to be able to comute from contrys back and fourth from mex. To the usa. And still do like outpatien pograms I need to find a job live is cheap in mexico but is esier to work in the us and live in mexico

  39. Eddie santacruz said

    Please help

  40. RS said

    I am homeless and living in my car since yesterday. I am 55 years old and in the past three years since the company I worked for closed, I have only been able to find a few occasional temp jobs.

    I am worried that the authorities may arrest me or take away my cat, who I love dearly. I am in the So Cal desert, near Palm Desert. Please can someone tell me what the laws are regarding my situation?

  41. rf said

    I am currently living in my car. Where can I safely park at night to sleep? I’ve been parking at the 24 hour walmart or at hotel parking lots, and so far have not had a problem, but I’m worried that I could be arrested or something.

    • Your concern about being accused of trespassing on private property makes sense. If you parked on a public street, though in many cities it is increasingly hard to find one without meters or permit requirements, at least you wouldn’t have to worry about being on private property. I hope that readers of this blog have sent you private replies with good suggestions about making arrangements with owners or managers of private lots.

  42. Actually, I am now interested after I read this article. Most importantly, the legislatively passed laws and policies to all property owners to help the homeless. Good details!

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  43. Tramikeiya maze said

    I dont kno wat is legal an not legal for a homless shelter. But I myself have been in a shelter aling with my mother from being kucked out of my mothers boyfriends home we had to seak shelter after sleepin in our car to the light house shelter they had rukes like any other shelter some of which I didnt agree with but it waz a roof over my head so I didnt mind abidinding by any of their rules an just last not my mother an I had been kicked out for bringing a basket an a suit case to the car we brought them to the car so that they wouldnt have any reason to have to leave an we had been ask to leave we were on n empty tank of gas siytin on their premisses trynin to figure out our next move we have no money are anything an could not take the chance of ridin out da rest of the gas the police were called on us on we were also made to leave the premisses along with an older woman who had been told to leave because she had not finished dinner in a timely fashon im seeking legal advice because I dnt want people to have to go through are deal with what we had to deal with last nite if u are in the statr of louisiana in da lafayette are the lighthouse shelter is not a place u want to seek shelter the director she is truly heart less an doesnt intend on help anyone at any time stay there you have to walk on wgg shells and try your best not to rub someone therr the wrong way which is hard to do wen their kickin uyou out on the streeys over dinner not being ready on time domeone please help im not sure how I can go about this the right way

  44. Star said

    I herd that there is or used to be a squatter rights law that indicates that a squatter who takes up residency in an abandon building for over a year and can give proof, say showing dated mail for that time period sent to that addres, then they can claim squatter rights and legally take ownersip of that residency. Is that true ? If so in what cities and is san jose one of them?

  45. Corrina said

    well really got the help i needed didnt get far or moved up all i got was the run around and about to get evicted well back to were i was at again hoeless with my kids back on the street wow and with my job trying too make things meet day my day wow thats alot of work by just have work krazie but got go last time well being my laptop and other thing tooo

  46. Anthony said

    I was wondering if it’s legal for a case manager to force you to ether sell your property or for him to force you to give your property to him to hold on to as a punishment for something you did that they didn’t want you to do.

  47. The United States Inter-agency Council on Homelessness has regional field offices available to connect homeless people with services. These folks know about all of the latest funding and programs. Click on this map to find your field representative. http://www.usich.gov/usich_resources/maps/overall_homelessness_rates

  48. I became homeless when a insurance company refused to pay my medical bills I was fully insured and was using the car. I moved in with my bf and he went crazy after stopping his antidepressant and him and his mother held me captive and by gun point can I sue the insurance company for fault being if they paideia medical bills I would of not had to move into the crazy house. Please let me know. Ndevinn24@gmail.com

  49. Thanks for sharing this precious information . I really appropriate it.

  50. You may find “it easy to sell my van in an auction site or a specialist van site”. You have to just do one thing estimate the price of your van. The only difficulty is that people may want to come, see the van and wish for a test drive.

  51. Rue said

    Hi my name is Rue I’m 18 years old I been homeless my family and I . My mom who is a single parent , older sister and younger brother . These past two years I moved to six homes it has been very difficult and such a struggle hoping things will get better . I graduated high school with A’s and B’s my mom and sister don’t have there papers which makes it harder to have money / home. I will continue my education for paralegal I would like someones help of my situation gladly appreciate it . Email anything ? thanks

  52. kaylee said

    DALLAS LIFE- can someone please look into this place! Its awful and exploits the homeless.

    • hardplaces said

      Kaylee, all the shelters in Dallas are exploiting the homeless. You can help by bringing attention to it to the public. The sad truth is, as a homeless person one has pretty much no rights!

  53. Stuno said

    Hi I’m 21 and I am married. I got kicked out of my parents place. I have no job, car, way to get around and I am stuck …being so young I don’t know how t do anything. I’m at a friends but not for long..i’m going to be on the streets…since i lived with my parents they got kicked off housing, my name was as a co owner? so does that eefect me if i try to get housing, what are means of transortation when you have no friends or family who like you? WHAT NEXT? please email some advice to me at stun0@ymail.com

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  55. hardplaces said

    Thank you for this great blog! I was homeless and know how hard society makes it for people that have no place to go to. Later I worked for a private homeless shelter in Dallas, TX and things are just as bad in the shelters I have seen, be it they are public or private.
    RI is a victory, a beginning and I hope it will continue.
    Again, thank you for looking out for the ones that need help!

  56. Jason said

    I recently started staying at a shelter in GA. I have started working and they are setting me up with a transitional home. This particular home requires that they be allowed to open a bank account for me and recieve my paycheck (both to take their cut and restrict my access to the money) Is that legal? I assume they require that I sign a power of attorney over to them in order to even be able to do this with the bank.

    • I am intrigued by your inquiry, particularly the part about limiting the way you choose to spend your money. Since you have a job, it would seem that you can choose not to accept the transitional housing arranged by the shelter and instead find your own housing arrangements or ask the shelter to help you find something other than this particular transitional housing facility. On the other hand, there may be something about your particular circumstances that makes it necessary for you to participate in this transitional situation. While it is generally true that you can agree to and be bound by just about anything in a contract, it is also generally true that you can modify a form contract by scratching out the parts you disagree with and noting that you do not agree to abide by those terms.

      I think you need to talk to Amy Sawyer amy.sawyer@usich.gov who is Georgia’s liaison with the federal Interagency Council on Homelessness. She will know if the program’s government funding is connected with this shared bank account scheme. If she isn’t helpful, get in touch with John Bassett john.bassett@dca.ga.gov at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs because he heads Georgia’s Council on Homelessness, and ask him if the shared bank account requirement is a) legitimate and b) mandatory. If this transitional home is run by a private organization, and not by a government office, you might also present your inquiry to the State Attorney General http://consumer.georgia.gov/consumer-services/filing-a-complaint. This kind of thing isn’t a standard consumer complaint, but if the housing entity is in the business of renting living quarters then it probably has to answer to the AG.

  57. Melonie jones said

    Hi im not homeeless anymore but scared that soon me and long time boyfriend will be again soon we use every bit of our money to keep this apartment that we have due to my health you see I have a very bad case of psuedotumor ceribri and have hade three surgeries in two years and now my docs are sending me to more specialist at the mayo clinic becouse they are at a loss but what my issue is we have been in this apartment for two years have never had a problem with anyone here then we got new neighbors downstais from us it was only to be a single older lady is what managment said but we get loud music 24/7 door slamming yelling and screaming all the time and its male and female management tells us to call the cops if its that bad finaly I did now its a three to four time a day calling prosses to the cops finaly one day nothing no noise then we came home to bi$&#writtin on my stairs (you get what I say) I called managment and cops supposedly after that they were going to kick her out but now three months later still dealing with her she never got a notice managment said they cant kick her out but wont say why so im still calling the cops for some type of quiet becouse I have no money for a lawyer so one day one cop told me about the complaint system where I can sign a piece of paper becouse shes being to loud and they arrest her and let her go but he also was so confused when he found out who it was he stated with her past she shouldnt be here and managment told him they were kicking her out too he was fumming sence I did that she told this guy not knowing he was a friend of ours that shes going to beat my face in and now when my boyfriend is out getting my medical supplies her and these guys that stay with her come and pound on my door or throw stuff at it and run down the stairs slam her door and start laughing thats how I know its her I can hear everything in her place even someone snoring becouse these places are old I live in california and really need help I just had another surgery 3 days ago im scared managment wont do crap all they care about is money I cant afford another place this one takes all I have and if this continues im worried my boyfriend my do something stupid hes my caretaker he trys hes best but if you only heard how loud everything was youd know ive recoreded the music took pictures I just dont know what else calling the cops just makes it worse and I do it anonymously so I dont know how she found out except one cop said she might have a scanner please help sorry this was long you just had to know the story all of it in full

  58. I’m good friends with a successful tampa dui lawyer . Though it’s not his specialty, I recently spoke to him about my sentiments that the homeless are overlooked and do not receive the attention they deserve from both the judicial system and police officers on the streets (local law enforcement).

  59. joshua said

    hello,
    my name is joshua and im messaging you for advice on where to turn for youth and young adults being exploited for profit under a “non-profit” organization. i live in a shelter in los angeles where the managers and directors allow people to tour the facility and donate to help out the youth program and other parts of the building- but the youth shelter remains the same the people who give the tours also lie, exaggerate and stretch the truth so much, its immoral. there are holes in the walls, there is mold growing in places, and the food (which is advertised to be nutritional and healthy to the donators) is making clients sick. the manager who runs the program is a sarcastic and racist individual who speaks to the clients with very little respect, forces his opinions and does and says things that im pretty sure are considered mentally abusive. he has also made inappropriate dances at clients and has touched them before (not sexually but its against the rules regardless) ive tried to go to his boss about the issue but when i did i found it even harder to live in the shelter, the rules were enforced harder on me, my curfew extension was delayed for half a year, and ive been lied to about numerous things just so i missed out on opportunities. he also neglects the fact that he has a responsibility for the safety of the clients, and turns a blind eye after someone is beat up or harassed in the shelter.
    im not sure what to do. i dont know where i can go to get help, and i know its my choice to stay here, but theres gotta be something i can do so that other kids dont have to put up with this in the future. its not right, and the list of bad stuff goes on and on, but thank you so much for your time and consideration.

    • Administrator said

      You can report a shelter’s problems to the government agencies that regulate those issues. Mold is a health problem. Report it to the health department. If possible, include evidence such as photos or stories of residents whose allergies have been affected by the mold. Food poisoning is also a health department issue. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/international/relres.html Fraud, like lying to potential donors and inspectors, can be reported to your state attorney general.http://www.naag.org/current-attorneys-general.php. You might also want to contact a local investigative reporter. A positive way to deal with these issues might be to pitch-in. Offer to clean the mold with bleach if the shelter will provide you with the bleach. Offer to speak at churches, on behalf of the shelter, and let those congregations know that the shelter always welcomes qualified help with meal preparations. You can think of similar positive ways to improve conditions where you live.

  60. florie said

    I live in ca I cancelled my insurance because due to my situation I qualified for low income
    State insurance, after being approved I found
    Out 2 years ago my daughter had an accident
    In my car and there was a small amount of physical and personal liability paid out.
    The state cancelled me even though I wasn’t
    The one in the accident , my old insurer knows I only have a p o box I’ve been staying everywhere until I go to court against my ex
    Who I has been my support for 30 years, I’m trying to get a spousal support increase due to the fact I’m disabled but do not qualify for any government help because of the small
    Amount of support I get-he does make a lot of money but I can’t get representation so I’m going in pro per- got any suggestions?

  61. twanna brown said

    I entered the n.y.c shelter system on sep 19 2012 for the second time in four years i became homeless with my tree boys because there is no money for the program i had work advantage and now they keep finding us not eligbable for houseing like once a week they want a two year history of were we live i gave my lease and marshall notice what more could they want from me i dont wanna be here and the city is paying 4.264 .42 a month for us here why not pay my rent in an apartment it would be cheaper i dont know what to do to get out no one helps u heere omg

  62. Being homeless with my dog changed my life forever. I started a non-profit for the homeless and their pets. A grassroots organization, based on solution. I know the deal without a doubt.

  63. aero said

    Hello, i live in california where medical marijuana is pretty well accepted. I am homeless, though employed. My girlfriend & I got a car ride from someone we never met before, we were essentially hitch-hiking. He was pulled over for speeding. The police searched the car, took ALL our stuff out of the vehicle, and found marijuana. he also found a gun that the driver claimed, and a small amount of meth on another passenger. I went to jail only on marijuana charges, but because we have a medical marijuana cards they are about to drop the charges.

    However, we told the police at the time of our arrest that we didn’t know the other folks (and they looked in our phones to verify this) — and because of this we wanted/begged/pleaded for all of our backpacks/sleeping bags/ipod/videocamera/cookware/food/etc/etc to come with us to jail — because we didn’t know these people, all of our stuff should not be put back in someones vehicle that we only met 4 hours prior — but it should rightly come with us.

    One officer let me have my backpack, but then another took it away and threw this and everything else (!) of ours back in this guys vehicle. long story short, i’m out of jail and the charges are about to be dismissed against me and my girlfriend– but the driver bailed out of jail, got his car out of impound, and never showed back up for court – essentially running off with about $2000 worth of our possessions still inside his vehicle!!! Who is responsible? Anybody? The Police? The driver of the vehicle that didn’t show back up?

    We wont be found guilty on any charges — we were following all laws and have proven we had only met these folks when they picked us up along the side of the road. I don’t have anything anymore! All the essentials in life have been taken from me — what i feel ought to be inalienable rights! my food, my clothing, my shelter, my money — all the essentials of living — everything has been taken from me! what the heck can i do?? What are my rights?? I heard the Homeless Act of 1994 might have something to say about this . . .

    thank you very much!

    • Well, since you know the identity of the driver and he has absconded with your possessions, why not file a police report asking that he be charged with theft?

  64. Ann Goulding Nugent said

    I need some help. We are homeowners that invited a homeless female (42 y.o.) veteran into our home, in May 2012. She was scheduled to start school, receive benefits and food stamps. She started school, received FAFSA, and then, dropped out. Her food stamps were stopped once she began school. She used her FAFSA money to partly pay for school, and we paid the remaining amount for her schooling. We have spent over $2500 for her needs, not including housing and feeding her and her pets.
    My question is….we would like for her to move out of our home. On January 1, 2013, I will be asking her to find gainful employment (not an easy task in Las Vegas) and to be financially on her way to being on her own, by May 1, 2013. She doesn’t pay rent or contribute to the household financially. Does she have any rights to stay? Do I need to put in writing that I’m asking her to vacate our home? Do I need to give her 30, 60, 90 days notice??
    Any advice would be appreciated.

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  66. smp1967 said

    I work directly with youth homeless, it’s appalling that in the 21st we have this situation and believe me it’s getting worse. However, the staff who work within this area are subjected to abuse on a daily basis unsupported by the organisations they work for under the cover of “we have to be seen to be doing our jobs so we get our funding”. This results in under staffed under trained under valued and totally under appreciated people trying their very best to a good job. They are “led” by those who have no principle based work ethic and end up with staff on sick because of work related stress. The people who do these jobs do so because it has a value to them a value that those behind desks will never understand and mostly refuse to understand. This now leaves a situation where the best people for the jobs to give genuine hearfelt support are either on sick leave or refuse to do the jobs anymore.

  67. Krista said

    Hello, I am from San Francisco and a group from my church is interested in making and handing out sandwiches to homeless people in the Tenderloin district. I want to know if this is legal? I heard that you need a license to give food out, but I can’t find any information about it anywhere. Is there a place I should contact about this? Please reply at your earliest convenience.

  68. Mike said

    I lost lost my house via a deed in lieu of foreclosure. So now I have no physical address just a po box.

    PennDot insists I have to have a physical address along with my PO box so I can keep my drivers license and registration they say to use that of a friend even though I don’t live there.

    I live in my van and work less then fulltime so I as of yet have found affordable housing.

    What is the law regarding the need for a physical address to maintain my drivers license.

    Thanks

  69. Mike said

    They seem to have changed things.

    Police officer told me that if my residence on my drivers license is not correct, regardless of having a correct po box, that they can issue a citation for not having the correct info on any documents, car insurance and registration too.

  70. Mike said

    Thanks for the response but still no answer for me.

    I stay in my vehicle I have no place else to live. So I have no access to any other person who will permit me to use their address.

    I have called penn dot several times they say they will get back to me in two days and I never hear from them.

    • Rex King said

      The police lie all the time, if you have a library card go look up the state law yourself. Find a state site that displays the law, not a law firm’s opinion. If the law is not what he says it is get his car number and make a note of the time (more or less) and go file a complaint, bring a printed copy of the law when you do. Look for homeless advocates the same way on line.

  71. Desiree said

    I endured the lifestyle of homelessness in Portland, Oregon. It was tough, but i managed to get back on my feet after being homeless for 2 year out there. I am actually writing a research paper on the topic for my college English class and need an opposing side as to why taxpayers wouldn’t want to support the homeless through the services provided. I would love to know some reasons from opposing views. I, myself would love to give back to the community that helped me get back on my feet, but I need to know why some people wouldn’t. Thank you in advance for the help.

  72. nedia carter said

    Not sure if anyone can help but wonder if it is legal to have no staff on site at night on weekends no staff until 12 or 1 a clock. And no phone avaible either.u buy food and it locked up and can not get to it. Being put out on the street with babies for non volient rules in the middle of the night. Telling there donors they offer programes and do not charge. But to the clients theres no programes and they charge 250.. A month. This shelter is in texas and i live there now wondering if there is some kind of help.

  73. Ignati said

    Can the cops kicks out of a squat after 30 days of receiving mail there?

  74. Cathryn N. Mumford said

    I have a question regarding drug testing shelter residents. What are the legalities; negative of drug testing residents? Is their a law(s) that cover this? Please assist. Cathryn

    • Privately operated shelters are generally allowed to limit their populations in ways that might surprise you: They can allow people of just one gender to stay there. They can exclude children. They can exclude drug users. If the shelter is committed to keeping out drug users, then it has to be fair and legitimate in figuring out who is using drugs. The most reliable way to be sure that the shelter does not have any drug users is to conduct scientific testing.

      If the shelter is testing for drug use just to prevent drug crimes from happening then, depending on whether and how the shelter is connected with the government, it may be violating the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment which requires a probable cause to believe that a particular person has committed a certain crime and a warrant issued by a judge in order to search for evidence connected with the crime. http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/amendment-04/07-probable-cause.html To simply guess that people coming into a homeless shelter might be drug users would not, without other proof, justify a drug test.

      If the shelter is targeting certain individuals or groups for drug testing, then those individuals or groups may have a legal claim of discrimination.

      Even if the shelter is testing everyone or else is doing random drug testing that doesn’t target individuals or groups, the drug tests might be seen as invasions of privacy. The ACLU takes a strong stand on this and has won court cases by proving that the entities testing for drug use did not have reasons that outweighed people’s right to have the chemical content of their urine kept private. http://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/drug-testing Contact your local ACLU office if you want them to consider suing a shelter for its drug testing practices. http://www.aclu.org/affiliates

      In most states, if there is any drug testing law at all, it is about when and how employers can test workers for drug use. You can peruse those state laws via Nolo Press at http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/employee-rights-book/chapter5-3.html Even though employers and shelters have separate specific reasons for conducting drug tests, the reasons are probably connected with safety in both settings. So, if you have to argue against a drug testing policy you might want to first see whether you have a state law and then compare the shelter’s policy with it to see if the policy looks like it complies with the law. If you don’t think it does, contact Project H.E.L.P. http://www.homelesslegalprotection.com/Contact_Us.html or the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty http://www.nlchp.org/contact_us.cfm or your local legal aid office. http://www.lsc.gov

  75. virginia said

    I am currently in a privately owned non profit shelter. I am trying to figure out if the owner hss the right to take our cell phones away from us at all. The paperwork states that we do not have to pay 50 dollars a week until we have a job. I am currently 6 months pregnant.and yhe owner will not allow me to get a job. I have no family or friends. Im just trying to figure out the law right now

  76. BY THE HOMELESS FOR THE HOMELESS bloggers in Southern California checking in! Interesting comments and subject. We need lawyers like you in Southern California. ACLU is looking for CLASS ACTIONS. Homeless in Shelters are denied their civil rights and are so afraid of being kicked out that they can’t or won’t stick together to sue!

    • Thanks for writing. I thought you had lots of strong advocates fighting the sidewalk restrictions in California. I do know of one dedicated homeless legal service in Los Angeles and I am certain that it works on individual claims rather than class actions. It is Project H.E.L.P. — Homeless Experience Legal Protection. If you like what you see on that page, use the contact link to find out when and where you can meet with one of the volunteer lawyers.

  77. My last local residence was St. Francis House, St Augustine. I sleep outside since St. Francis charges the homeless a daily rent for transitional housing after five free days. Is it legal for the city of St. Augustine to provide only one female homeless shelter that meets the criteria (single, no children, no domestic abuse victim)? I loss my personal ID documents upon relocating to Florida; I can’t readily employ myself until I recover my ID. I don’t want to be a whistle blower but my life is at stake living outside as a young, single black female without support.

    Regards,
    Brittany Taylor
    britt.taylor.catalyst@hotmail.com

    • Do you know how to replace your identification documents? If not, I can tell you how to do that. If you are not yet working with outreach services that will help you plan for permanent housing, contact Jacquelyn Harris Rude or Jean Harden at Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County. homelesscoalition@comcast.net Here’s the phone number in case that e-mail address doesn’t get you a quick reply: 904-824-6623.

  78. judi said

    My homeless relative wrote on a t-shirt “please anything helps god bless you thanks” the local police officer made him remove the t-shirt. I do not understand how this is illeagal to wear a shirt with this statement. Are his civil rights being violeted isn’t thus freedom of speech.

    • The ACLU handles tee shirt message cases all the time. There are several examples cited on that organization’s “free speech” page. http://www.aclupa.org/issues/freespeech/ Your relative’s situation is particularly interesting because it is possible that the shirt violated a local anti-begging ordinance. So which law prevails, the Constitution or the local ordinance?

      Justia’s annotated U.S. Constitution shows leading examples of how and when the government is allowed to limit the content of expression. Notably, enforcement of local ordinances is not in the list. http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/amendment-01/40-government-restraint-of-content.html

      This would be a good question for debate teams and for a court of law in your relative’s jurisdiction.

  79. Chuck said

    Is it illegal just to have a P.O. BOX for a permanent address, I’m homeless an thats all I got

  80. jasmin golden said

    it way to much to write could I have done one call me or email me back for the number

  81. I went to a shealter yesterday an had to take a piss to get inso I could not piss because I used the bathroom alreadyso I go back today at 3pm to take a piss test an the lady tell me I have to wait for the worker to get in at 345pm so I went to take a piss out side, so at 345 a worker comes in an its a lady an she comes with me to the bathroom, an another guy an I ask her can I put warm water on it to help me piss an so I do so an bagan to pee, so when I done I go to give it to her an she is gone, so I bring it to her an she tells me its no good because she must be there , besides all the hoop she had me jump shouldn’t it be a man that give the test it is a men’s shealter , an u only get 5 min to pee, she tells me to come back tomorrow so I’m on the street for another nite

  82. Rickell said

    i just moved in this shelter with my family and i don’t no how it go i feel like i would never be able to leave but i would love to have my own place again i no i messed but I’m better now i get only 517 in cash and i give them 350 of that and 568 in food stamps and give them 200 from the county it’s 4 of us in my house hold we can’t make it but they don’t help i can’t really explain on texts ifyou like you can call and i can tell you more 9097532865 can’t save to get out with no money.

  83. Well I’m homeless in paterson nj an shalter or full here an I get ssi an I’m trying to get
    E housing in nj but there is a waiting list

  84. Barry Varga said

    does a homeless shelter have the right to lock up a bathroom door at night where men sleep, and they tell you that you can not use it till 6 am?

  85. Sue said

    Try AllianceUnited.com . You might need a broker, but my insurance for a used vehicle was less then 200 a year…?? I couldn’t beat that at all. None of them.. And they give you 5 road side assists included in the insurance..

  86. connie R said

    I’m a mother I lost my home all my older children all done nothing to help keep our home I’m devotee do to domestic violence he missed treated my children and. Now I’m alone trying to get my ssi I can’t stay with nobody none of my kids now got excuses I’m not trying to impose on them but I’m there mom my husband left with Bella of money don’t give a crap I’m on the streets I have three small dogs there in control but were not stable I need a short term stay some where so I can get my ssi a get my self stable I can’t sleep or eat or keep my self any where course I’m being harrased by my kids I even stayed in a tent on a property were they stayed and my dauther boyfriend kicked me off his father is my husband they both made problems and I’m in need for some where just a short time anywhere I’ll even stay in a place just to keep it safe or cleaned or just to be like a sucurity person on any property so no one does damages help .me I’ll be walking around to find to be safe for the mean time I’ll will stay under a bunch or tree aside a open street can you HP me today Connie 916-678-8175

    • connie mende said

      Hi there. Sounds like we both need help. Have you found any resources? I cannot survive like this.

    • connie mendez said

      Please let me know if you have found help. Sounds like we were both married to,bastards

  87. connie mendez said

    PLEASE READ THIS ONE. My x husband were married 18 years. I was a stay at home mother of our 6 kids. My x husband announced,he was divorcing me and cut me immediately off all source of income. Checking savings etc. He hadnt paid the mortgage for 11 months and told me it would foreclose and no one would live there. I believed him
    i,signed the deed over and left. Shortly after he modified the home WITHOUT my signature. To date he has the house with a great interest rate. Im living from apartment to apartment. I work three jobs and am on public assistance. He alos owned a very successful havac business. He sold it a year before he divorced me fo 200.oo to,his dad. They fudge his income which severly affects my child support. I,can not afford to fight him. I also cant afford to live..SIMEONE PLEASE HELP ME.

  88. connie mende said

    Please help. I was a married stay at home of out 6 children. My xhusband stopped paying the mortgage for 11 months. He told me he was divorcing me. He cut me off of checking,savings and all source of income.,without legal representation i signed the deed to the house to him. I believed if i didnt i qould be hels finanancially responsible for the financial mess he created. Somehow, he modified the loan with my name on it. But without my signature. He kept the house and has a low interest rate. I am now working three jobs and living from apartment to apartment. Please tell me what ,if any recourse do i have? This ia wrong on so many levels. I would have never left my home. I was bullied and tricked. I dis not understand what i was signing.

  89. andi said

    My boyfriend & I have no place to stay! !! Need help please!!!!! We need a place for him, I, & our small dog to stay for a week. We just moved to area & our housing plans did not work as planned, if anyone can & is willing to help us please let us know. I would be greatly appreciative to you.

  90. michelle ashley bower said

    HELP ME PLEASEEEE SOMEBODY, i live in redmond oregon in a transitional housing program from neighborhood impact. I consider nyself and my children survivors of a extremely abusive relationship… after 12 years i left for the final time…yes i am a survivor however the landlord in my new home has given me 3 cause of evictions a 3 day eviction notice, entered my home with no permission threats of surveillance and private investigators watching me unfair rules that only apply to my children, verbally abusive, and using her power in the community to intimidate me. just recently i stood up told her shes causing me ptsd, anxiety, depression, etc. and that i will get legal help. then she served me with a NO CAUSE eviction. which results in termination of tran hous program and funding. it is -18 degrees outside i have two children and no where to go… please help me … my children are so distressed over already experiencing so many moves and dv shelters.. i am not mentally and emotionally okay because of this….please help me….

    • Rex King said

      I would seriously look for attorneys who volunteer to help the poor. If you must the Salvation Army has shelters for women in your situation. If they do not, try the Union Gospel Rescue Mission and see if they have a family/women’s shelter. If they do not try Saint Vincent De Paul’s sometimes they can help.

  91. Ashley said

    I live in a shleter in ny and theres alot of things they do here that I believe is illegal but my main concern is my mail. Most the time I get no mail “it disappears” and if it is a package they turn it down and dont even give me the notice that is left by the post office. Is this legal for them to do?

  92. Charlene said

    My husband sold our house from under me. It is a mobile home that’s paid in full. Now my children and I are homeless. How do I go about getting my house back.

  93. info@blaubak.com said

    I’m becoming homeless as of January 3rd. I am trying to cancel my mail but its requesting a new address. By law and by landlord request, I am no longer allowed to be delivered mail at my address. I’m really confused about what to do here. I don’t need additional problems with the law or my landlord. Please advise.

  94. This is very informative article and i got very informative knowledge from this blog. Thanks for sharing this informative knowledge.

  95. joseph n kutteh said

    Good bless you iam a mentally ill person in suffolk county new york that has been destroyed by a non profit houseing nightmare thought it was transition houseing go two vessid state schooling work program one year placement well hell five years on a model home run by a evil corrupt landlord for profit no help five years with displaced tenant  one i was exposed two infectious disease almost died in local hospital this profit modavadied mofia is selling humans as lab ratts and as if my homeless life was a horrific enough well my hell iam dead just waiting for my deliverence two christ my body will be pecked by science lab techs tho they where successful on that my soul they cant touch owner is god keeper is christ pray for simaller if not worse off people i always do. Xojo.

  96. Nice post.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very informative! So happy to be given a privilege to post a comment here.

    aissa
    http://www.joeydavila.net

  97. dennis valentino said

    I am homeless I was living in my car the constant harassment from lasd is so.overwhelming I have no money now I have to driving.on a susspended lic.tickets with a bench.warnt for not going to court they took my car so now.I.live under the bridge my life is over I just want to die I have no one I have nothing not a chance of ever bouncing back I live in fear every day these people who take an oath to protect and serve use there power for evil and never have they protected me or served me just constant harassment and false charges so they have job security im sick and tired very tired I just want to die not in jail for driving a car

    • Are you sick enough to go to the hospital? If so, do that and ask to see a hospital social worker while you are there. That social worker can help you find an indoor location in a different neighborhood away from the police who know you. If the hospital says that you are not sick enough to be there, ask them to help you find a free clinic. Is your sickness preventing you from being able to work? If so, apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

  98. If any homeless person needs a ride to an attorney office for legal assistance, call Sacramento Airport Shuttle for a discounted ride.

  99. jessebost said

    I thought it was illegal to turn people away when the temperature got below a certain degree. however, in Anderson Indiana a certain shelter routinely turns away people regardless of the temperature. Is there or is there not a law concerning this?

    • the temperature rearley go below freezing in California its the gangs behind the badge in Santa Clarita that are thugs with guns and a badge they are the worst gang out.of all the street gangs there is a big investigation by the fbi rite now.we home less are living in fear and constant illegal searches and seizures constant harassment and being ticketed for out rite lies because they know we cant pay the tickets they say be a slave to the community well that even cost hundreds of dollars.this thugs are only concerned about there gang lasd los Angeles sheriff’s dept.have been infeltrated by street gangs we now need protection from the very people who are supose to protect us i am afraid for my life they beat people up and file false charges if they dont get what they want mostly they want information we dont even have.they ththreaten us its sick i cant beleave this is happening we are not free and we can never get off the streets with this kind of discrimination from law enforcement its cruel and wrong some please help us i have tried to file reports for abuse of power and illegal discrimination because we are home less they just laughed im my face and the steped up the harassment on us what ever happened to America the land of the free there are more people in jail in America then in china more the in all of the communist counys combined for driving a car really and the rapist and violent crimanls are free becuse the jails are full of people for driving a car and for being homeless and broke its dangerous and its wrong we have rights we cant let these evil tyrannical men do this tobare citizens this is my plea for help will.any one answer we shall see god help us all .!!

    • Jessebost– Get yourself to a fire department or call 911 and see if there are any emergency drivers who can come and get you out of the severe cold tonight. In these extreme temperatures cities often establish temporary shelters in fire stations and other government spaces. Know that even in extreme cold weather, a homeless shelter has to abide by the fire code and the health code–both of which limit the number of people that they can safely admit. So, yes, shelters are allowed to turn people away. Still, you need to get inside someplace during this extreme cold–even if you can’t be in that particular shelter.

  100. Marlon terry said

    It’s hard when you can’t work due to an accident, lost everything you work now on the first of the month won’t have a place to live, what can a person do!

  101. Tonia Landes said

    My husband and I are living in my mother’s old house with our 17 month old twins. It’s the middle of winter and the bank she signed the deed over to two week after she moved out in October of 2013 has filed tresspassing papers. They know our situation with having nowhere to go and that we have applied for housing and that it takes a couple months to go through. That even after that we will actually have to find a place. My mother knowingly signed the deed to screw us over. We had been trying to find a place since day one of moving into her house when I was pregnant and she decided not to move with us to the area that we had our jobs. As a result we lost everything except our clothes and personal possessions. No we face criminal charges if we do not vacate the house I lived most of my life in. My children face living on the streets or being taken away from us if we are put in prison simply because we have no physical way TO move. We were just able to finall get a car but until we find a place, the assistance office, coalition of hope and the Salvation Army can not help us. We are trying to get out and not causing any trouble. We we just need time and don’t know if we have any at all. I don’t want to lose my kids! I don’t want to go to prison for something I can not control! We are trying to find jobs since we lost our other ones because of my mother. My husband even had an interview on Wednesday but we are constantly scared we are going to her the police at the door. I have to go to mandatory classes because if being on cash assistance while he watches the kids. I’m afraid I will come home to no husband or children and a pad lock on the door so we lose everything else! I’m scared and I don’t know what to do. I thought it was illegal to throw a family out in the middle of winter?

    • Rex King said

      Tonia, I would try the Union Gospel Rescue Mission, and St Vincent De Paul and if they cannot help you ask them for a list of local resources for people in your position. You might also see a free lawyer to ask about squatters rights. I am pretty sure there are no laws regarding weather, without knowing what state you are in it is hard to say conclusively.

      • Tonia Landes said

        We live in Pennsylvania. Since my post the bank actually called us even though no contact is allowed and said we had till valentines day to get out or the sheriff would be called. The lady that actually signed the tresspassing notice said if we had trouble getting a place cuz of our dog that she would take her. Seriously? Then we are supposed to call them once we are out so they can winterized the house yet they have buyers. So something sounds fishy.

      • You need to get help from a housing advocacy agency. If you are in Pittsburgh, contact Action Housing http://www.actionhousing.org/index.php/social-services-programs/mortgage-assistance-program. (I know that link says mortgage assistance, but they have other services to help folks avoid ending up on the street.) If you are elsewhere in Pennsylvania, see what help you can get from Regional Housing Legal Services. http://www.rhls.org/resources/individuals/ Also,go to the site for the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania http://www.housingalliancepa.org/get-involved/local-coalitions and find the housing advocacy agency for your county.

      • Tonia Landes said

        We are in Mifflin county and have contacted housing authority. Just waiting for our meeting

      • Tonia Landes said

        I forgot to mention that we don’t know where we are on the list. We are hoping to get a place here soon and then when approved the landlord accepts section 8.

  102. Brandi said

    Hi I run a homeless shelter in PA and I was trying to research what some of the laws are that involve evicting someone from a shelter for not following the rules could anyone help me?

  103. susie said

    I am a mother of two who ages are both three and five. I have my own vehical and a bit of cash coming in but we are about to be forced out of our home. My question is im afrad of shelters necause of the awful stories i have heard and thIngs that happen. Ive read that my sons can still attened school even though we have no address and are homeless. But my question is, is there really and safe place were i can park my car and we can sleep? Is it against the law in the city of Fort Worth, Tx to have your family live out of your car?
    Though this is temporary until i can get back on my feet i was also wondering with medicade and food stamps will they still help me as well? Thank you so much.

  104. marty melendrezf said

    We live in a ca. Motel( about 8 months) ,owner lost it to bankruptcy,broker took over and keep it for 3 months,now new ower took over and says he doesn’t owe us taxes back because he just bought it. Us that true?

  105. Sell my home fast! We buy homes fast & pay cash! we close fast with cash and we buy the home AS IS in Tampa, Florida & surrounding areas.

  106. Elizabeth combs said

    I am 56 yes old, and my husband is homeless too. We both have diebesr. Cancer place call @ 214-

    846-6390 or 469 254 6124

    • Elizabeth combs said

      Elizabeth I need add that the of Dallas knocked my house down. They didn’t. Give me chance to fix it. I was in n out of the hospital. I can’t even work I. Had sarcoma caverns on my pelvic. So I feel like I don’t know what to do I had lived there for 56 yes. I need help plaza

  107. Deanna said

    Is it legal in the homeless shelter to require proof of bank statements that have personal information on them and check stubs and work schedule on top of other?

  108. My pet and I are homeless can my supervisor at work stop my pet from coming to work with me. If my pets stays inside of my car.

  109. Hello, I wondered if you are familiar with the Housing Scotland Act?

  110. kathy said

    My boyfriend & I have been homeless since Dec. He got laid off, got unemployment but didnt get an extension..I’ve had back surgery & just got denied ssi.. I never knew how hard it was to be homeless. We feel fortunate because we have a popup tent trailer. We are hassled by the sheriffs almost every week. We both have cars.. my bf wrecked his when we had the first rains.. mine is broken down at a park where we were recycling.. Does anyone know of a free mecanics? Im tired.. Really hard to have a positive attitude when eveythings going wrong..

  111. Mike May said

    I have a situation where I became
    Homeless and have a job my boss
    allowed me two stay at buisness
    Stay and sleep Ive been here for
    2 years making little money got
    in a payment program for back taxes paying 300.00 a month
    no end in sight cant pay payments
    boss now from one day to the next
    Wont allow me to shower or sleep
    in closet anymore…mosquitos suck! Any suggestions?

  112. lWe are a couple homeless been together6 years one person does work. But we been renting rooms from people that use us niw we are about to be homeless again with no where to go we would like to be placed .together we live in new york city please contact me at 347 777 7639 thank you

    • I SHALL BE CALLING YOU TO GIVE YOU A FEW RESOURCES……….I CREATED THIS ONE OF A KIND ONLINE NEWSPAPER FOR THE HOMELESS AND THEIR PETS……………..ANGEL HANZ FOR THE HOMELESS, INC………..I WAS HOMELESS WITH MY DOG AND THAT IS HOW MY ORGANIZATION CAME TO BE…………….CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD IN YOUR LIFE AND KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE OK…….COMPASSIONATELY!!!…..KAREN HAMZA

  113. Rachel Hernandez Monje said

    My husband and I along with our two daughters were living in a homeless family shelter. We had an argument @ 11 am. The called the cops @ 4 pm saying that he hit me. They put a red flag in the department of homeless system and my husband was removed from shelter. I have the report that the cops wrote which states it was verbal. What can I do to reunify my family? My husband is currently homeless because of this and the four of us are suffering not being together. Please any information or resources would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Rachel Hernandez Monje

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