Homeowner suing to stop homeless shelter

I’m not quite sure what to think of this. Maybe others here on CAF are more knowledgeable about this.

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Were I to write what i think, it would be a violation of a bunch of CAF rules. “Feed the hungry, but do it somewhere else” doesn’t sit well with me.


I’m not the homeowner and I don’t live in his area, so I’m not going to judge him. If someone wanted to open up a shelter in a place where I didn’t think it was a good fit for the neighborhood, I might even agree with such a suit. It all depends on the facts of the particular situation.

If this shelter has all the backing it says it has, then the suit will lose and that will be the end of it. Suits are how we deal with disputes in USA.

I would add that I live part time a few blocks from the local homeless shelter. Sometimes homeless people walk down my street. It’s not been a problem.


It’s called nimbyism. It happens all the time.


The larger question in my mind is whether anyone is doing anything to solve this problem of pervasive homelessness in certain areas of the country that is requiring all these temporary shelters.


The reason people don’t want these things in their nice neighborhood is because of the failure of state and federal government to properly address the population of mentally ill homeless people who don’t have anywhere to go except for a homeless shelter.


Normally I think of lawsuit as a remedy for an actual loss. If the property owner intends to sell the property and can prove that the sale price will be diminished because of the homeless shelter, he might have a case.


Exactly. I used to regularly use a commuter train station where the homeless would shelter, and some of them would aggressively panhandle and threaten commuters. I’m talking about a guy peacefully sitting waiting for a train and a 250 pound large mentally unbalanced homeless man comes up, gets in his face and starts yelling at him. Other homeless shelters get a lot of drug addicts and there are needles and crackpipes being thrown around the sidewalk. I’ve seen this stuff in person.

The shelter currently by where I live seems to serve a lot of elderly and generally peaceful people. I strongly suspect that’s because anyone who creates a major problem is sent somewhere else by the county authorities.


On the one hand, NIMBY is a thing that is. Sometimes people complain for all the wrong reasons.
On the other hand, not everybody who complains about a proposed project is being a Nimby. There can be valid reasons not to have a project in a specific neighborhood.

That being said, the litigant wants the shelter stopped because it might reduce the resale value of his home, when he has apparently shown no sign of wanting or planning to sell. I find myself remarkably lacking in sympathy for him.


There are no easy answers here.

Unlike the prior poster I do have sympathy for the owner whether he intends to sell or not; a home is the largest and most significant purchases most of us will ever make, and to anyone that thinks the shelter is acceptable, I say, “ok, you try living next door to one, and see how quickly yo get tired of scraping feces off your sidewalk in the morning.”

This is in part a failure of government but not for lack of trying: governments in many places like Seattle, LA and San Francisco have thrown a lot of money at the problem of homelessness and have found that the more they spend the more homeless they have to deal with. Rather the government is not and should not be the solution to most problems.

At a local level I can absolutely understand the desire to stop a shelter going in next door.


I believe the article also says that one of the plaintiffs is a landlord who owns multiple residential buildings in the area. If owning and renting out residences is your livelihood, then of course you’re going to complain when something threatens to make your rental properties less desirable to good tenants. You could end up suffering a significant impact to your business, the same way someone who runs a restaurant or a shop doesn’t necessarily want homeless people camping all over the sidewalk outside his establishment, coming in asking to use the bathroom all day, panhandling his customers etc.


Not enough information.
Yes, the people have a point that property values will take a hit. We don’t know if it is significant or not. We also do not know if crime will go up in the area as a result. We do not know a lot of things.
I would be interested to know if the city is also putting in place an infrastructure to handle the inevitable issues this will bring.

I can empathize.
I also lived in an apartment complex that was fairly nice. Very little crime, great neighborhood, and clean facilities…until the city did similar.
It really took about 3 months, but it felt like overnight. A neighborhood that was safe enough for kids to be playing in unattended suddenly turned into a war zone.
There were drug addicts sleeping in the stairwells, burglary became common, and cars were vandalised if not outright stollen.
I eventually moved on.

I find that both inappropriate and offensive.
No one here has the information necessary to make that judgement.


I respectfully disagree that we don’t have enough information.

Can anyone find some instance where property values went up and crime decreased when a homeless shelter opened up nearby? Or where neighbors raved about how wonderful it was a year after one opened?

I too however think it’s offensive to use the term NIMBY


NIMBY is very, very common. No one wants shelters, food orgs, clinics, halfway houses, etc in their neighborhood.

just curious to know what you think a good solution might be?

I do get both sides of the argument,on the one hand, we, especially as catholics, are called to care for vulnerable populations, on the other hand, I can definitely understand that a family neighbourhood wouldn’t want needles littered all over it

NIMBY is also understandable. The neighbors bear a greater burden than the community as a whole. It is a real burden, and the community owes it to the neighbors to reduce their burden or compensate for it in some way.


Very true words Beryllos. Crime goes up about 56% when a homeless shelter goes in. Would every one of you really be o.k. with that in your neighborhood?


We need to care for the poor, and maybe there is something that can be done to make the neighborhood better. It’s too early to give up.


I have thought of this more as a violation of the Golden rule, or of Kant’s universal stylization of it in his categorical imperative. If something should not be in your back yard, something that could be in someone else’s, then that is an immoral position. I think any suit based on re-sale value should be thrown out as laughable. Real estate, by its nature varies in value, up and down. The same hypocrite would not insist he should pay a settlement to some business if it increased his re-sale value.

If the city built a new police station, should homeowner have to fork of say 5000 each for those who live within 2 blocks, 4000 for those up to five blocks, etc., because of the reduced crime rate? No, I see the case as being hypocrisy, period, as this idea of “not in my backyard” only applies when the situation is negative, not positive.

And to be clear, this in not actually being built in anyone’s yard. The griping homeowner does not own the property he is attempting to exert control over.

It is an economic issue.

Noone wants to lose the value of their home whether it is a shelter, new highway next door,etc.

The town should offer to give the homeowner(s) the value of their property before the homeless shelter is built or before the property declines in value. They should also offer some type of compensation for relocation.The owner may decline the offer but then have to live with his decision.

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