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III. Methodology

This report is the product of the National Homeless Civil Rights Organizing Project (NHCROP) of NCH, an ongoing effort to establish systematic data collection and coordination of efforts to protect the rights of homeless people. As a result, this report is the most comprehensive and up-to-date attempt to document the discrimination against and criminalization of people experiencing homelessness.

The qualitative information from each city is reported in the form of descriptive narratives. These narratives serve as a record of evidence testifying to the criminalization of people experiencing homelessness in almost every city surveyed, as well as the status of struggles and conflicts in those communities. Anecdotal evidence and experience, as well as available statistics were collected, evaluated and form the basis for policy analysis and recommendations for combating the erosion of civil and human rights in this country.

In addition, the city codes for the majority of the cities were examined and summarized in a chart comparing patterns of criminalization across the nation. In most cases city code information was available electronically, generally on databases. However, in those circumstances where it was impossible to obtain an electronic document, copies were directed to city clerks’ and attorneys’ offices, who then provided the information. Different classifications of various ordinances are dependent upon the wording of the ordinance itself.

Full 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