service providers, and/or people experiencing homelessness were surveyed
in each of the cities and asked the following questions:
(1) How has your citys treatment
of homeless people changed over the past year?
(2) How are anti-homeless ordinances,
laws that prohibit acts that homeless people have to do in public because
they live outdoors (e.g. camping, sleeping, panhandling) or any laws
that are aimed at clearing the streets of homeless people, being enforced
in your city?
(3) Are there any more general laws
(e.g. drug-free zones, jaywalking, or sitting on the sidewalk) used
or misused to target homeless people? Please cite examples.
(4) Have there been any recent sweeps
of homeless people in your city and are they conducted in certain areas?
Please cite examples.
- Are local government officials seeking to
decrease visibility of homeless people and are there any laws
being considered or used that do that?
- If your city has any Business Improvement
Districts (BIDs), how are homeless people treated within these
- Are sweeps connected to any major athletic,
political events or other special occasions?
(5) How many anti-homeless citations/arrests
were issued in your city over the last two years?
(6) Is there anyone in your city bringing
litigation challenging anti-homeless laws or policies? If so, do you
have any contact information?
(7) Are there any constructive alternatives?
- police sensitivity/awareness trainings? Who
provides the trainings?
- successful public education or grassroots
Please provide quotes from homeless
people, advocates and/or service providers that describe civil rights
abuses in your city.
The following questions are optional
depending if this information can be easily accessed (anecdotal information
- Have there been any incidences of violence
and/or hate crimes against homeless people?
- What is your city spending to arrest, cite
or harass homeless people compared to providing emergency services
(e.g. shelter, food, benefits) or long-term solutions to homelessness
(e.g. affordable housing, treatment on demand)?
- How many homeless people have died in your
city over the last year?
- What resources, or lack thereof, does your
city have for homeless people with substance abuse or mental health
- Is your city considering creating special
courts that target homeless people with mental health/chemical
- Where else in your state are there civil
rights abuses occurring toward homeless people? Do you have any
contact information for groups that are documenting, organizing
or advocating around homeless civil rights issues?
7. Anything else you want to add?
report in .pdf form | Introduction
| Background | Methodology
| Problem Statement/Consequences of Criminalization
| Model Programs | Conclusions
& Recommendations | The Cities Included
in this Report | Meanest Cities | Narratives
of the Meanest Cities | Narratives of the
Other Cities | Prohibited Conduct Chart
| Survey Questions | Incident
Report Form: English & Incident Report
Form: Spanish | Sources