CFC # 10844

online partners:

 

THE LINK BETWEEN VIOLENCE AGAINST HOMELESS PEOPLE AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMELESSNESS

There is a documented relationship between increased police actions and the rising number of hate crimes/violent acts against homeless people.  Michael Stoops, acting executing direction of the National Coalition for the Homeless comments that “it seems violent citizens become emboldened to attack homeless people because their city has responded negatively to the homeless population,” furthermore, “these violent attacks occur especially were the city has portrayed homeless people as the cause of unemployment, decreasing property values, vacant storefronts and/or other problems.”

For six years, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) has tracked a frightening increase in crimes targeting homeless people perpetrated by young people and severely disturbed individuals.  These are well-documented violent attacks on a vulnerable population that result in injury and in many cases death.

Advocates from around the country have cited the relationship between municipal actions to restrict visibility of homeless people and hate crimes/violence.  This overly broad enforcement of the law or laws passed by city governments specifically targeting homeless people are documented in NCH’s Illegal to be Homeless: The Criminalization of Homelessness in the U.S. (November 2004). The report also ranks the 20 “Meanest” Cities in the U.S. for the civil rights violation of homeless people.