Derrick North Letter to Huntsville City

Huntsville Police are currently planning an eviction of one of the last remaining homeless encampments in the city. This would be the third eviction in the last year, and the effects of the previous displacements have been grievous, resulting in loss of contact with support services, destruction of personal property, community separation, loss of employment, and disruption in medical treatment. Unlike previous evictions, this time there will be nowhere for them to go, no options for rapid rehousing are being presented.

Huntsville Bail Fund, in collaboration with Love Huntsville, Vote Huntsville, North Alabama Peace Network, Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance, Alabama Arise, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU of Alabama, and the National Homelessness Law Center, demands that the City of Huntsville take action to address the issue of unsheltered people in our community. We call on Mayor Battle and the City Council to undertake the following immediate actions:

  • Stop the planned closure of the Derrick North homeless encampment until individual housing units are available to displaced residents
  • Establish a sanctioned encampment policy consistent with the National Homelessness Law Center’s “Encampment Principles and Best Practices.”
  • Develop one year and five-year plans that provide rapid rehousing, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and affordable housing options for people experiencing—or at risk of—homelessness.

Camp closures do not help end homelessness and instead stack up more barriers that our neighbors must face. Huntsville should develop a proactive approach to support its vulnerable citizens that are struggling to secure stable housing, instead of continuing the pattern of punishing and criminalizing these citizens.

Read the full letter here:

Encourage Mayor Battle and the City Council to build a modern and humane city that serves all of our neighbors.