Jumptonavigation Jumptosearch ">
The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Part of a series on|
Use of the law to discriminate against the homeless takes on disparate forms: restricting the public areas in which sitting or sleeping are allowed, ordinances restricting aggressive panhandling, actions intended to divert the homeless from particular areas, penalizing loitering or anti-social behavior, or enforcing laws on the homeless and not on those who are not homeless.
The French novelist Anatole France noted this phenomenon as long ago as 1894, famously observing that "the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges".
There is a growing trend in the United States towards criminalizing the state of being homeless. Proponents of this approach believe that punitive measures will deter people from a homeless lifestyle.
To this end, cities across the country increasingly outlaw life-sustaining activities—such as sleeping, eating, sitting, and begging—in public spaces, and selectively enforce more neutral laws—such as those prohibiting open containers or loitering—against homeless populations.
Violators of such laws typically incur criminal penalties, which result in fines or incarceration or both. Homeless people with new "criminal charges" have very restrictive housing and employment options, if either, for years.
Precise factors associated with victimization and injury to the homeless are not clearly understood. Nearly one-half of homeless people are victims of violence. There have been many violent crimes committed against the homeless due to their being homeless. A study in 2007 found that this number is increasing.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness offers an organized spread of homeless issues and solutions while providing means of donation and support. President Nan Roman expresses that in her opinion, "People will always have problems and crises. But in a nation as wealthy as ours, where human life is valued, widespread homelessness need not—and SHOULD not—exist."
The National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is held every year the week before Thanksgiving to raise awareness of issues relating to hunger and homelessness in communities. The charity offers guidelines and educational tools that encourage the public to get involved. Participants are encouraged to share thanks and help fellow community members in times of need.
Ils y doivent travailler devant la majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts