A federal judge in Cincinnati is considering whether the city has the right to remove homeless people living under bridges, the Cincinnati Enquirer says. The American Civil Liberties Union says the city’s 2002 anti-panhandling ordinance violates a permanent federal injunction issued five years ago. “The city has identified homeless people and people who ask others for money as criminals,” said an ACLU spokesman.
U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott yesterday granted a temporary restraining order requested by lawyers for Donald Henry, a 40-year-old homeless man who lives under an overpass. Henry said family and social-service agencies have offered him housing. “I’m staying where I’m at,” he said. Police told him he would be arrested if he did not vacate his “bin” under the highway, he said.
The city’s chief concern is safety. In two recent accidents cars skidded up under the overpass toward Henry and others who live there.