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Property Rights and Homeless Shelters—What Has the Supreme Court Said?

How one local government board is trying to stop people from helping the homeless—and what the law says about whether they can

Property Rights and Homeless Shelters—What Has the Supreme Court Said?

The Catherine H. Barber Memorial Homeless Shelter is the only option for people experiencing temporary homelessness in all of Wilkes County, North Carolina. It’s been serving the community there for more than 30 years, and its record is exemplary. But when the shelter tried to apply for a permit for a new building in an ideal location (near businesses and public transit but far from residential areas) their application was rejected, even though the shelter met all the town’s requirements. In this episode we discuss the situation, and how—and whether—the Constitution applies to local zoning boards issuing permits.

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