All over the country, an organized effort is seeking to criminalize homelessness while attacking best practices like Housing First. Several states have already enacted bills along these lines, including Texas, Tennessee, and Missouri. Others managed to fend off bad legislation last year, but will face new proposals in the 2023 legislative session.
This page contains background, resources, and tools created by the Alliance and its partners in the National Coalition for Housing Justice, to ensure that every community understands this harmful trend. As future developments take shape this page will be updated.
A ruthless effort to criminalize homelessness while attacking best practices like Housing First is gaining traction in state legislatures across the country. Several states have already enacted bills along these lines, including Texas, Tennessee, and Missouri. Other states like Arizona and Georgia managed to fend off bad legislation last year, but new proposals are being introduced this year.
Criminalization Video SeriesVIDEO: Why Lawmakers Get It Wrong When They Criminalize Homelessness VIDEO: Hiding a Problem Never Works: Encampment Raids Don't End Homelessness VIDEO: Encampment Raids Are Traumatizing VIDEO: Don’t Want Homeless Encampments? Support Housing.
Housing First Series
- Inside the push to criminalize homelessness (Marketplace, May 2023)
- A Palantir Co-Founder Is Pushing Laws to Criminalize Homeless Encampments Nationwide (Vice, March 2023)
- More cities and states make homeless encampments a crime, leaving low-income people with few options (USA Today, January 2023)
- Housing In Brief: Federal Report Decries Criminalization Of Homelessness (Next City, November 2022)
- New Missouri law makes sleeping on state land a crime for people experiencing homelessness (Missouri Independent, June 2022)
- Efforts to criminalize homelessness persist after state effort dies at end of 2022 Legislature (Georgia Recorder, April 2022)
- Homeless Camping Bans Are Spreading. This Group Shaped the Bills. (Stateline, April 2022)