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Letters: The homeless have property rights too

September 12, 2012

Re "Court blocks property seizures," Sept. 6

The recent decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the property rights of the homeless has its roots in the seizure of four shopping carts provided by the group Catholic Worker.

Since 1997, Catholic Worker has distributed more than 20,000 free shopping carts to the homeless. These are the property of Catholic Worker and cannot legally be taken by the police.

These carts are pervasive around skid row, and they are the bane of the police and the business community. But for the homeless they are a source of transportation, property storage, recycling employment and even housing. Now this resource has been secured by constitutional affirmation.

Jeff Dietrich

Los Angeles

The writer is co-director of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker soup kitchen.

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