The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C., serves as the legal arm of the national movement to end and prevent homelessness.Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education, the Law Center works to meet the short-term needs of homeless people while addressing the root causes of their condition.

THE CASE: Uncomfortable with visible homelessness in their communities and influenced by myths about homeless persons’ food access, cities across the country are using laws banning or restricting food-sharing by charitable groups to move homeless persons out of sight.In 2006, the city of Dallas enacted such a law, limiting distribution of food to a small number of locations, none of which were chosen based on their accessibility.The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty is challengingthis law on behalf of Big Heart Ministries and Rip Parker Memorial Ministries, whose food-sharing efforts have been stymied by the city.The Law Center is asserting that the law: 1) violates Plaintiffs’ right to freely express their religious beliefs under the First Amendment and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act; 2) violates Plaintiffs’ right to due process, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment; 3) violates homeless persons’ liberty interests in the right to food, asguaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment; and 4) violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Contact: Andy Beres (aberes@nlchp.org, (410) 375-7259)