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.
CHLP fights stigma and discrimination at the intersection of HIV, race, health status, disability, class, sexuality and gender identity and expression, with a focus on criminal and public health systems. As part of this work, we support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change rooted in racial, gender and economic justice. We do this through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources.