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PURPOSE STATEMENT

The main objective of this report is to educate lawmakers, advocates, and the general public about the problem of hate crimes and violence against homeless people in order to instigate change and ensure protection of civil rights for everyone, regardless of their economic circumstances or housing status.  As part of its mission, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) is committed to creating the systemic and attitudinal changes necessary to end homelessness. A major component of these changes must include the societal guarantee of safety and protection and a commitment by lawmakers to combat the hate crimes and violent acts against people who experience homelessness.

 

METHODOLOGY

The data on violent acts committed against homeless individuals in this report was gathered from a variety of sources.  A number of narratives were derived from published news reports (nationally and locally).  Information was also provided by homeless advocates and service providers across the country dedicated to raising awareness about violence against homeless individuals.   Lastly, this report relied on the voices of homeless individuals, and formerly homeless individuals, in self-reporting incidents they experienced first hand.  

Upon receipt of each incident, a rigorous fact checking process was completed to evaluate and verify accuracy.  This process entailed multiple follow-ups with those closely involved with the incident.  Cross comparisons were also made with other news sources reporting the incident.   

While we could not always identify the motive for each attack based on our sources of information, some of these attacks were perpetrated due to a bias against the victim because of his or her homeless status.  Other attacks may have been perpetrated merely because the homeless person was in a vulnerable position to be attacked, due to the nature of homelessness.  Only attacks committed by housed individuals against homeless individuals were evaluated.  Crimes committed by homeless individuals against other homeless individuals were excluded from this report. 

While NCH has made every effort to verify the facts regarding each incident used in our report, new information about cases sometimes becomes available after publication.  NCH comprehensively researches and reviews all included data. As new, additional evidence emerges about the classification of prior, new or previously unknown cases, it is the policy of NCH to adjust tabulations accordingly.


THE REPORTS

Over the past ten years (1999-2008), homeless advocates/direct service providers from around the country have seen an alarming, nationwide sustained increase in reports of homeless men, women and even children being killed, beaten, and harassed. In response to these concerns, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) has produced eight reports documenting these acts.  The National Coalition for the Homeless collaborated with the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) on the ninth report documenting hate crimes and violence against homeless individuals in 2007. NCH produced this tenth report to document hate crimes and violence against homeless people that occurred in 2008.

1999:   No More Homeless Deaths! Hate Crimes: A Report Documenting Violence Against Men and Women Homeless in the U.S. 
2000:   A Report of Hate Crimes and Violence Against People Who Are Homeless in the United States in 2000
2001:   Hate. A Compilation of Violent Crimes Committed Against Homeless People in the U.S. in 2001
2002:   Hate, Violence, and Death on Main Street USA: A Report on Hate Crimes and Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness in 1999-2002
2003 Hate, Violence, and Death on Main Street USA: A Report on Hate Crimes and Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness in 2003        
2004 Hate, Violence, and Death on Main Street USA: A Report on Hate Crimes and Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness 2004                                                                           
2005:   Hate, Violence, and Death on Main Street USA: A Report on Hate 
Crimes and Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness in 2005
2006:   Hate, Violence, and Death on Main Street USA: A Report on Hate Crimes and Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness 2006
2007:  Hate, Violence, and Death on Main Street USA: A Report on Hate Crimes and Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness 2007.   Published by NCH & NLCHP.
2008:  Hate, Violence, and Death on Main Street USA: A Report on Hate Crimes and Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness 2008

This latest report continues to maintain the same goals and objectives as the previous ones:  

  1. To compile the incidents of hate crimes and violence that NCH has received and reviewed in order to document this alarming trend against people who experience homelessness.
  2. To raise awareness among lawmakers and the general public about this serious issue.
  3. To recommend proactive measures to be taken.

CONTENTS: Main page | pdf of full report | Acknowledgements | Dedication | Executive Summary | Purpose, Methodology, and Previous Reports | Introduction | Historical Summary of Hate Crimes/Violence Data for 1999-2008 | Summary of Hate Crimes/Violence Data in 2008 | Summary of Teen/Young Adult Involvement in Hate Crimes/Violent Acts | Summary of Ages of the Accused versus Ages of the Victims | Summary of Victims Who Were Middle-Aged | Cities where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | Map of Cities where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | States where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | Map of States where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | Cities Where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred – 1999-2008 | Map of Cities Where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred – 1999-2008 | Comparison of Hate Crime Homicides vs. Lethal Attacks on Homeless Individuals | National Media Coverage of Hate Crimes/Violent Acts Against Homeless People | Video Exploitation of Homeless People | Recognizing Anti-Homeless Violence as Hate Crime, by Brian Levin | Legislation | Recommendations for Action | Model City/County/State Legislation/Resolutions | Adopted City/County/State Legislation/Resolutions | Public Education Initiatives | Listing of Incidents by City | Case Descriptions Involving Deaths | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Rape/Sexual Assault | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Setting on Fire | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Beatings | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Shootings | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Police Harassment/Brutality | Appendix A: Sources | Appendix B: NCH Hate Crimes Public Service Ads |

 

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