Archive for the ‘Civil Rights’ Category

Over the last few months it seems as though there has been an increase of news articles about communities that are placing some types of bans on homeless activities. Some of communities are even placing bans and restrictions on “regular” folks feeding the homeless in public places.

Most homeless advocates refer to these types of legislative practices as “criminalizing the homeless.” Community politicians and officials, on the other hand, are quick to counter that they are not criminalizing homelessness, but are just trying to keep the peace.

Regardless of how it’s labeled, the end result is ultimately the same: it punishes a segment of a community’s local population for not having a place to call home.   (more…)

If Miami City Commission Chairman Marc Sarnoff has his way, it may soon be illegal for regular citizens to feed the homeless. Violators will be fined and perhaps even face jail time.

Chairman Sarnoff has already drafted an ordinance and plans to introduce it to the city’s commission next month.

According to an article in the Miami Herald, the ordinance, if adopted, would prohibit Miami citizens from feeding the homeless unless they’ve attended a "food safety course" and conduct the feedings only in locations specifically designated by the city. Those folks would also have to bring along porta-potties and sinks.   (more…)

Like many other cities across the nation, Colorado Springs, CO., has seen an increase of "tent cities" within its city limits.

And, like many other cities, Colorado Springs is trying to find a way to address the issue.

Later today, they will be considering an ordinance which would prohibit "camping" on public property.   (more…)

One of the realities that every homeless person faces is a potential encounter with local law enforcement.

There are numerous reasons why these types of encounters occur. And, to be sure, there are those homeless who do bring it upon themselves.

Then there are those times when these "run-ins" with the law happen because local law enforcement officials behave in an overly zealous manner. Unfortunately, these latter types seldom end on a good note and either come close to being – or actually are – nothing less than police harassment.   (more…)

It should be no secret to anyone that the face of homelessness in the U.S. has changed dramatically.

Gone are the days when the homeless were primarily single adult men.

Today’s homeless are comprised of men and women of all ages, ethnicities, religious and political affiliations. Moreover, homelessness is being experienced by those who come from "white collar" backgrounds.

Sadly, homelessness is also afflicting out nation’s children.   (more…)