VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - The city of Vancouver's laws against sleeping outside are unconstitutional, a homeless man claims in court.
Clarence Taylor sued the city in British Columbia Supreme Court.
Taylor say he was twice ticketed for erecting a "structure" on city property: the "structure" was a shopping cart full of his possessions.
Taylor's counsel, the Pivot Legal Society, says in the complaint that Vancouver had more than 1,600 homeless people in 2011 and more than 2,600 in the city and its surrounding regions. Of those, 731 were found sleeping outside in the region, 145 of whom were in the city.
"A large proportion of the unsheltered in Vancouver are youth and/or Aboriginal people. There remains inadequate shelter space in Vancouver, and there are significant gaps in services for youth, Aboriginal people, women struggling with addictions, women with children, and older persons with addiction and mental health problems," the complaint states. "Many of the homeless have special needs related to mental illness, substance misuse, HIV/AIDS, multiple diagnosis, fetal alcohol syndrome/fetal alcohol effect, attention deficit disorder, brain injuries and involvement with the criminal justice system."