Durango has stopped enforcing its ban on camping in public spaces at night at the urging of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Last month, the ACLU asked Durango to lift the ban after the city's only homeless camp closed, saying it was cruel and unusual to criminalize camping when homeless people had nowhere else to go.
A panel of three judges for the 9th Circuit Court opined Sept. 4 that “a municipality cannot criminalize such behavior consistently with the Eighth Amendment when no sleeping space is practically available in any shelter.”
The city does not have a dedicated shelter for homeless people, although it is looking at options to build one near the Manna soup kitchen.
The city has stopped issuing citations between dusk and dawn under an agreement reached with the group earlier this month. Campers who are violating other ordinances, such as by having a fire or aggressively panhandling, could still be cited.
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