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What Happens When Cities Make Homelessness a Crime: Hiding The Homeless

A growing number of American cities are ticketing or arresting homeless people for essentially being homeless. The new laws ban behavior commonly associated with homelessness like reclining in public, sharing food or sitting on a sidewalk.

Supporters argue these measures are necessary to push homeless people into the shelter system and maintain public safety. Critics say the laws violate the rights of homeless people and ignore the more complicated drivers of homelessness like mental illness.

We found homeless people camping in the woods to escape police harassment, a homelessness consultant opposed to feeding homeless people and a city that uses solitary confinement to force homeless people into shelters.

VICE News began its investigation in Boise, ID, where a group of homeless people have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of these laws. Their case could change the way homeless people are treated across the country.

Read “New York Cops Are Now Shaming Homeless People On Social Media” –

Read “San Francisco Mayor Vows to Remove City’s Homeless by Super Bowl Weekend” –

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21 thoughts on “What Happens When Cities Make Homelessness a Crime: Hiding The Homeless

  1. The shitty part about this is I see myself in this position. I have mental illness and can’t work that many hours do to my severe anxiety. Even going outside makes me anxious but I know if I lose my job I’ll most definitely have a mental break and end up homeless. It scares me to think that America is starting to crack down on people going through a rough patch.

  2. What is even logical to ticket someone for something that they may have no part in….like being poor, then putting them in jail for what is nothing more than bad circumstance? where is the humanity? We had to sneak food to a homeless woman bc the police puppets were watching us!…as its illegal to give food to the homeless in CA. Its a perpetual process with no end in sight.

  3. What a stupid story. Vice, what a joke. The guy was at least opening shelters. What is your solution to the problem? There is no easy fix. Open land and give them tools to survive, farm land. Make them support themselves. Why does society have to deal with their actions. I'm not saying all, the mentally should be help, not the lazy.

  4. I routinely used to go downtown with boxes of bagged lunches and would hang out all day with homeless people, now there are a lot of people making the choice to beg for their income. I still meet up with some of my old homeless friends and buy them a meal for a conversation, but I refuse to give panhandlers money. I've handed them brand new water bottles before for them to throw them back at me. It's water, everyone has to drink water in some form. This is a mental health problem, people with mental diseases or who numb themselves through substances. I can only imagine what this problem will look like in 10 years.

    Let me guess, that guy is a multi millionaire who takes massive tax breaks for being a charity/npo?

  5. Let these drunks and drug addict bums suffer!!! It's their fault that they don't want to be successful and independent with their lives!!! They make up these fake stories of their lives wanting you to feel sorry for them!!! They will even taking their lies to their grave!!! They are brainwashed into their own world thinking a job and money is supposed to come to them!!! I don't feel sorry for them!!! If illegal immigrants can come to this country broke and live a successful life so can these lazy fucks on the streets!!! They should all be dropped off on a remote island with the mentally handicapped with no food or water!!! They will probably kill each other, end up cannibals eating off of others dead bodies!!!

  6. I don't even know where to start… they are using the same exact tactic as drug prohibition, just criminalizing something that some people do voluntarily, or by virtue of being mentally ill. I was a drug addict for most of my life and I chose to be homeless and when I got clean and worked with other addicts, you see that a pretty big portion of these people are a result of drug addiction and the lack of will to get clean, but the other percentage are people who are mentally ill. A lot of this is preventable, and the biggest culprits of facilitating this trend are the very people who are complaining about the problem. Look at san Francisco, and california at large; rent is astronomical and wages along with quality jobs are don't give people the resources to be able to afford rent. I'm not a big fan of people living off of welfare, but if these greedy fucking companies would pay their fair share if taxes, and were willing to give up a small percentage of their profits to give better wages then we would have better funding for programs to treat addiction and mental health, as opposed to putting them in jail. It's been substantiated time and time again that criminalizing these people and putting them in jail costs more then it would to build homes and offer more social programs

  7. State lotteries  make hundreds of millions of dollars in each state ,  They say the money goes to helping the elderly and to fix roads but I think it a bunch of bullshit  and the officials end up with kick backs .  Why cant they help the homeless with lottery money ??  We know its there .  VICE  do an investigation on state lottery and find out where this money goes !!

  8. Wow for a free country we sure do have a lot of laws! This is awful! Where are the training programs help these people gain employment the housing programs to help them get off the street Mental Health Services to help them deal with their issues where is the compassion to humanity

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