LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The ACLU of Kentucky today sent a letter to Louisville Metro Deputy Mayor Nicole George urging her and Louisville Metro Government to halt the practice of clearing homeless encampments during this extreme heatwave.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning until Thursday, August 24 as heat indexes are expected to surpass 100 degrees. The city has regularly issued White Flag alerts for excessive heat during the past month.
On August 18, 2023, the city cleared two camps and has plans to clear two additional camps on Wednesday, August 23 and Monday, August 28. The clearing notices do not cite criminal activity or public health threats, and the city’s alternative shelters are already overburdened. Unhoused people are already at a higher risk of serious illness, hospitalization, or even death, even without the dangerously high temperatures Louisville is currently experiencing.
We request Louisville Metro Government:
- Cancel any plans to clear encampments of unhoused people until the White Flag period of extreme heat is complete,
- Communicate to encampments, definitively, that they will not be cleared, through RAVE alerts, physical signage, and in-person communication,
- Establish additional shelters and cooling centers, accessible to unhoused people during both day and night, and
- Distribute summer care packages containing water, reusable bottles, nonperishable foods, hygiene products, sunscreen, and sun coverage (e.g., hats, umbrellas).
We fervently request the city honor Louisvillians’ due process rights and protect those who are so vulnerable during this extreme weather.
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky is freedom's watchdog, working daily in the courts, legislature and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms. For additional information, visit our website at: www.aclu-ky.org.