Friday, June 6, 2008

The Price of Doing Business

Homeless Reach $2.3M Settlement with Fresno, Calif., and State Department of Transportation Staff

AP News
Jun 05, 2008 21:02 EST

Several Fresno homeless people who claimed their belongings were wrongfully seized and destroyed in raids on their camps have reached a $2.3 million settlement with the city and state.

The proposed settlement filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Fresno calls for the city to pay the eight plaintiffs and any others who qualify under the class action suit $1.4 million in cash and living allowances. The state Department of Transportation will pay an additional $85,000 in cash. The city agreed to pay $850,000 in fees. A federal judge ruled last month that Fresno's past policy of sending city workers to raid homeless camps and destroy personal property violated constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure.


Bruce from Accordion Noir said...

Maybe this is a new phase in the Ten Year Plan To End Homelessness? I'm not sure of the economics of paying individuals millions of dollars. I'm sure an affordable apartment or even a home would be cheaper. But who's to question bureaucratic vision? Oh, us, that's right.

"Uta" Urban said...

The economics of systematic abuse suck, but at least this it sets precedence. In Fresno, people retain the civil rights of other American human beings even when they have no shelter.

Anonymous said...

So, if the good people of Fresno, California can stop its city officials from harassing the homeless, why can't Seattle?

Because we're going about it the wrong way. We need have a judge issue an injunction and work this issue out the courts.

These camp outs at City Hall make great theater, but don't seem to change many minds.

Tim Harris said...

Actually, they do change minds. People are inspired, getting involved and taking action. Legal strategies have their place, but they take years, don't build power, and often fail. The idea that a small handful of connected professionals who possess the magic bullet create social change is an elitist dead end.