Across this country, cities are criminalizing homelessness, by making it illegal for people to sit, sleep and even eat in public places - despite the absence of housing or even shelter and other basic resources. These laws and policies violate constitutional rights, create arrest records, and fines and fees, which stands in the way of homeless people getting jobs or housing. This act of criminalization is not working to end homelessness.
The evidence is clear, that homelessness is reduced in communities that focus on housing, and not those that focus on criminalization. Criminalizing people experiencing homelessness cost more money than simply solving the problem by ensuring access to adequate housing.
As more individuals and non-profits continue to educate and bring awareness about this issue, the general public will realize that criminalization is not the answer to ending homelessness. The time is now to educate and advocate for justice and housing.
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