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Burien Deputy Mayor Clarifies Encampment Law Martin v. Boise

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Interpreting Homeless Law

Once again, I asked Burien Deputy Mayor Kevin Schilling how the city is interpreting the landmark ruling Martin V. Boise that says cities cannot enforce anti-camping ordinances if there aren’t enough homeless shelter beds available.

This piece is frequently cited and misinterpreted by FAR-LEFT activists and other homeless advocates against SWEEPS. Even King County Executive Dow Constantine (@kcexec)weaponized it earlier this year and blocked sheriff’s deputies from assisting during the Burien dog park encampment removal.

But Schilling makes it very clear, nowhere in the law does it say the offers of shelter must be in the city where the homeless are camping. In other words, if there is an open shelter bed in nearby Seattle or Renton, that can be counted as an offer.

This remains a contentious issue since the vast majority of homeless on the streets continue to reject shared shelter spaces and prefer to stay in tents for various reasons.


-Too many rules

-Can’t do drugs

-Don’t like confined spaces

-No pets allowed

-Not allowed to bring in tons of personal belongings

-Can’t bring in girlfriend or boyfriend since it’s not co-ed.

Martin V. Boise remains in play under the Ninth Circuit which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. #Burien