Providence American: ACLU Settles Lawsuit Preserving Shelter Access for Homeless People
By: The Providence American
First Published: Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
The ACLU of RI today announced the settlement of a lawsuit that will ensure that no shelter operating on State property is required to turn away vulnerable homeless Rhode Islanders seeking shelter even though beds are available. The settlement reached today ended a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by ACLU of RI volunteer attorneys Lynette Labinger and John MacDonald challenging a state law, slated to take effect last January and specifically aimed at Harrington Hall in Cranston, which limited the number of registered sex offenders that could stay there to 10% of the shelter's population, which amounts to 11 people.
The lawsuit called Harrington Hall “the shelter of last resort for male homeless registered sex offenders in Rhode Island, whose only other option is to sleep or camp on the streets,” and noted that the facility “routinely provided overnight shelter to many more than 11 registered sex offenders” without experiencing “any increase or experience of re-offenses.”