What are the legal constraints to the City’s ability to address encampments?

The Ninth Circuit Court decision in Martin v. Boise requires that shelter be available and offered before any enforcement against sleeping or camping in public spaces can be undertaken. Additionally, the terms of a Preliminary Injunction resulting from a federal lawsuit brought against the City and County of Sonoma requires that prior to arrest or citation for unlawful camping (including vehicles/RVs parked for more than 72 hours), individuals within the encampment must be given reasonable notice, an opportunity to be assessed for shelter and services, access to adequate shelter, storage of belongings, and a process to appeal a denial of any disability-related requests for reasonable accommodation.

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1. What is the City doing to address the growing homeless problem in our community?
2. If the City is investing more to address homelessness, why are we seeing more homeless people in our community?
3. Where can people go rather than living on the streets?
4. What is being done about encampments on public property?
5. What can be done about encampments on private property?
6. What are the legal constraints to the City’s ability to address encampments?
7. Is the City considering additional ordinances related to homeless encampments?
8. Why isn’t the City enforcing laws about vehicles/RVs parked on City streets for more than 72 hours?
9. How do I request signage to restrict street parking?
10. Why does the City move people from one encampment location to the next?
11. What is being done about illegal activity?
12. Is it helpful for me to give assistance directly to someone who is homeless, such as food, clothing, or money?
13. How can I help?