Essay about The Rights Of The Homeless

Essay about The Rights Of The Homeless

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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 many homeless people are on the edge of survival. They rely on help from the public to eat.
Many criminalization measures also violate the constitutional rights of the homeless. 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 criminaliz...

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...ontributor to this number and there seems to be little hope for their chance of a fresh start. For every person sleeping on the street there is another days away from getting evicted (Virginia Navigator). When Social Security benefits are their only income and it is not even enough to cover rent at the Free Market Rate then people are left with no choice but to sleep on the street. They are decades ahead of where their health should be for their age and they are often too weak to make it to the hospital. They are prone to being the victims of crimes and law enforcement doesn’t seem to take them seriously and does everything they can to ban them from public areas. Many homeless elderly are unaware of the resources available to them and have deemed their homelessness chronic. Affordable housing needs to be made available for the homeless who are increasing in numbers.

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