Homeless Advocacy Policy Project

The Homeless Advocacy Policy Project (HAPP) at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law is a student-driven project focused on researching the laws criminalizing homelessness and advocating for the rights of homeless individuals.

HAPP has worked with Denver Homeless Out Loud and the Western Regional Advocacy Project to explore legal issues facing Colorado’s homeless residents. We also have worked with Colorado Safe Parking Initiative, and are currently working with Housekeys Action Network Denver, ACLU of Colorado, and the Denver Municipal Public Defender's Office.

To learn more about HAPP, please contact Elie Zwiebel, Esq., Juvenile Civil Rights Attorney.

HAPP’s work has included:

  • 2018 Reports | Too High a Price 2 | Yes, In My Backyard

    Too High a Price 2:  Move on to Where?  (Download paper via SSRN)
    Authors: Michael Bishop, Bridget Du Pey, Nicole Jones, Ashley Kline, Joshua Mitson, Darren O'Connor
    Editors: Professor Nantiya Ruan, J.D., M.S.W. & Elie Zwiebel, J.D.

    Yes, In My Backyard: Building ADUs to Address Homelessness  (Download paper via SSRN)
    Authors: Tran Dinh, David Brewester, Anna Fullerton, Gregory Huckaby, and Marnie Parks
    Editors: Sara K. Rankin, Nantiya Ruan, and Elie Zwiebel

    Images below from the Finding Space to Solve Homelessness:  Addressing Homelessness Through Public, Private, and Religious Land Use forum held on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at the Seattle University School of Law.

    Individuals attending Homelessness forum at Seattle University School of Law.

    Anna Fullerton, Cary Moon, and Mamie Parks

    Individuals attending Homelessness forum at Seattle University School of Law.

    David Brewster, Gregory Huckaby, Anna Fullerton, Sara Rankin, Mamie Parks, and Justin Olson

  • 2016 Report | Too High a Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado

    Many Colorado cities voice their dedication to eliminating homelessness through providing services to residents who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. These same cities simultaneously enact and enforce ordinances that criminalize living outside. Laws that criminalize panhandling, begging, camping, sitting or lying in public, and vagrancy target and disproportionately impact homeless residents for activities they must perform in the course of daily living.

    Denver Law’s Homeless Advocacy Policy Project examined how the widespread enactment and enforcement of laws criminalizing homelessness have become widespread in Colorado. Through a comprehensive analysis of the enforcement of anti-homeless laws, the project also examined the cost—economic and social—anti-homeless laws impose upon all Colorado citizens.

    The findings of this research are available in the report, downloadable via SSRN Too High a Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado.

    Illustration of Denver Capitol Building with homeless individuals in foreground

    Illustration by HAPP student Arielle Schreiber