Effects Of Criminalization Of Homelessness

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Laws that make the lives of the homeless more difficult are meant to decrease the amount of homeless people however they are counterproductive. Many of the cities enforcing these laws don’t have enough affordable housing available for the homeless. Also fines and criminal charges only make the lives of the homeless more challenging when applying for housing. Not to mention one night in jail costs on average three times as much as one night in a shelter. “The US Interagency Council on Homelessness has strongly advised local governments not to enact laws criminalizing homelessness as it fails to increase access to services and tends to create additional barriers for homeless people while also undermining the impact of service providers Building a Movement to End Homelessness).” Criminalization of the homeless sends the message to the public that homeless people are criminals and should not be helped. What needs to be understood is that…show more content…
Under the 1st Amendment protection of free speech homeless people should not be penalized for begging. The 4th Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure would support that law enforcement should not be allowed to confiscate and destroy belongings of the homeless. The 8th Amendment protecting citizenship, due process, and equal protection would agree that not taking someone who is a victim of a crime seriously because they are homeless is a violation of their rights. People who are already suffering are now being punished for their disadvantages and because of this they face even more barriers. The criminalization of the homeless does not do anything to address the issue of why people are living on the streets it is simply to get rid of the homeless who are viewed as an eyesore (Building a Movement to End Homelessness). The root causes of why people are becoming homeless needs to be addressed in order for this situation to

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