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The Community Justice Project and Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Borough of Pottstown over its plans to close a homeless encampment along the Schuylkill River Trail.
The legal complaint was filed on behalf of two Pottstown residents experiencing homelessness. The two individuals, who have sought shelter on the property, accused the borough of violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment as well as the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law.
Pottstown officials have erected signs along College Drive, declaring the parcel “private property of the borough” and a flood hazard. The sign calls for people to vacate the stretch of land after Dec. 1. The sign urges residents in need to call 211, which is Montgomery County’s homeless call line — but there is no year-round shelter for single adults in the county.
Sign posted along College Drive in Pottstown, Pa., announcing the clearing of encampments along the Schuylkill River in Montgomery County by December 1, 2023. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)