Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities Factsheet

Jun 23, 2008
  • Description

The lack of available shelter space leaves many homeless persons with no choice but to struggle to survive on the streets of our cities. Unfortunately, the response has been for the cities to turn to the criminal justice system to respond to people living in public spaces. This trend includes measures that target homeless people by making it illegal to perform life-sustaining activities in public, usually including criminal penalties for violation of these laws. This document covers which cities are the meanest towards its homeless occupants, and what exactly the laws are that makes homelessness appear to be a criminal activity.