This report documents the increasing criminalization of homelessness in the United States, focusing on municipal laws banning sleeping and storing personal possessions in public areas, “camping,” begging, loitering and even feeding homeless persons. It points out that not only do these laws not address the causes or promote programs to end homelessness, they are in fact violations of international human rights law. The report suggests a number of constructive alternatives to criminalization, examples of successful alternatives used in other countries, and recommendations for federal, state and local government actions.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy is a national resource and advocacy organization working to advance the rights of people affected by HIV. We combine an online HIV Policy Resource Bank, a creative national advocacy agenda, and case assistance focused on systems and institutions with significant impact on marginalized communities.