Over the past few months, the city of Morgantown has bulldozed multiple tent encampments belonging to unhoused people. It has also failed to provide low-barrier housing for the people displaced by its actions. The city has also failed at times to maintain an accessible warming shelter for unhoused people, including during the recent snowstorms.
All of this is happening during a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of millions of people. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advise against disrupting tent encampments because doing so increases the threat of community spread of COVID-19.
That’s why ACLU-WV sent a letter today demanding the city cease destruction of encampments immediately and release its policies and procedures regarding unhoused people, as well as documentation of any and all actions taken in recent weeks against these community members.
Actions taken by the city raise serious constitutional concerns, including the right to due process and protection from unreasonable search and seizure and cruel and unusual punishment.
Read our full letter below.