Criminalizing Homelessness Violates Civil Rights
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Laws criminalizing homelessness have been on the rise, but legal challenges repeatedly prove that those laws violate the civil rights of the homeless, says the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. Yesterday, NLCHP released an advocacy manual that shows that favorable results were obtained in 66% of challenges to anti-begging laws, 71% of challenges to laws on sleeping in public, and 100% on laws that forbid food sharing with homeless people. Law Center executive director Maria Foscarinis, above, calls those laws a "waste of precious community resources" that "expose communities to costly litigation that they are likely to lose. The manual offers more constructive suggestions, such as a model policy for police interactions with homeless individuals.