The Criminalization of Homelessness
The criminalization of homelessness refers to measures that prohibit life-sustaining activities such as sleeping/camping, eating, sitting, and/or asking for money/resources in public spaces. These ordinances include criminal penalties for violations of these acts. Some criminalization measures include:
- Carrying out sweeps: confiscating personal property including tents, bedding, papers, clothing, medications, etc.
- Making panhandling illegal.
- Making it illegal for groups to share food with homeless persons in public spaces.
- Enforcing a “quality of life” ordinance relating to public activity and hygiene.