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Criminalization of Homelessness

THE CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMELESSNESS America's most vulnerable need your support. Supporting local, state, and federal legislation will be an important step in the fight to protect homeless people from senseless, inhumane, bias-motivated attacks and the criminalization of homelessness. JAIL IS UP TO $41 In 2004, The Lewin Group issued the results of a nine-city survey that compared jail costs to emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing costs. According to the COSTLIER survey results, jail costs were two to THAN HOUSING three times higher than permanent supportive housing or shelter costs. 3X PROGRAMS CRIMINALIZATION OF LIFE All human beings need the basics to sustain a standard quality of life. Many laws that target the homeless threaten this EVEN IF YOU DID NOT HAVE A HOME YOU STILL HAVE A LIFE The study found that some of the most common charges associ- ated with homeless individuals were for the following violations: Open container in public. If one does not have a home, they are unable to drink or Sitting 'on the sidewalk If one does not have a home, they are unable to sleep, sit, or rest indoors. eat indoors. Upsetting public and private garbage receptacles. In many cases, this is the only way to obtain food. Solicitation and loitering. With no where to go, begging can seem like the only option STOP Citation for trespassing. Criminalizing the travelling Disorderly conduct. Fights can be noted as a result of alcoholism or drug of an individual can be noted as inhumane. use, a common result of homelessness. MANY OF THESE "CRIMES" ARE DUE TO HOMELESSNESS AND ARE NOT MALICIOUS IN NATURE 30$ 6524 $30/day to house an individual 65/day to jail an individual A DAY IN JAIL IS 2X COSTLIER THAN A DAY IN HOUSING PROGRAM LITIGATION FOR CHANGE Many criminalization efforts infringe on basic civil rights, and can be successfully legally challenged. Zz violating right to free speech Laws that restrict speech too much (begging) target speech based on its content, or do not allow for alternative channels of Depriving the basic human need to sleep The practice of punishing people for sleeping outside has been challenged in courts as a violation of communication can violate homeless persons' civil rights. the First Amendment Vague Laws A law is unconstitutionally vague if its language is not clear enough to give people Criminalization of Travel Advocates also have con- tended that arresting people for sleeping outside violates the fundamental right to notice of what conduct is prohibited and police could enforce it in an arbitrary travel. manner WHO ARE THESE LAWS DUE TO HOMELESSNESS AFFECTING? 95% 6% 39% OTHER WHITE 55% BLACK MALE Study Breakdown In study of 96 chronically homeless individuals 55 percent were African American or black individuals, 39 percent white individuals, and 6 percent were from other racial categories WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP The National Coalition for the Homeless ( has developed a C.A.R.E. model to address homelessness. We urge all willing parties to use this model to initiate change and stop the criminalization of homelessness CARE MODEL CONTRIBUTE ADVOCATE Create and distribute kits Get involved with a street that include items such as newspaper by contacting NASNA, clothing, cups, pots, pans, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and cosmet- ics. Raise funds for a pro- gram or donate a phone call/job opportunity. [email protected]. Sponsor a Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week or join the National Homeless Civil Rights Organizing Project EVEN A SMILE CAN HELP OUT EDUCATE REACH OUT Work at a shelter, pursue litigation to protect the homeless, organize an event at a shelter or work with Organize site visits for political leaders to visit local homeless programs to high- light ways that your commu- nity is successfully address- ing the problems associated with homelessness. children. For more information, visit or THE DUTY OF DESIGN II

Criminalization of Homelessness

shared by ihayes on Dec 20
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This Infographic was created to highlight the criminalization of one of America's most vulnerable groups: the homeless. By stopping the criminalization of those in need, we can help spur litigation in...


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