The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty has released a list of the 10 meanest cities
in relation to criminalizing homeless. Full report (pdf) available here
Types of Criminalization Measures measured in the report:
• Enactment and enforcement of legislation that makes it illegal to sleep, sit, or
store personal belongings in public spaces in cities where people are forced to live
in public spaces.
• Selective enforcement of more neutral laws, such as loitering, jaywalking, or open
container laws, against homeless persons.
• Sweeps of city areas in which homeless persons are living to drive them out of
those areas, frequently resulting in the destruction of individuals’ personal
property such as important personal documents and medication.
• Enactment and enforcement of laws that punish people for begging or
panhandling in order to move poor or homeless persons out of a city or downtown
• Enactment and enforcement of laws that restrict groups sharing food with
homeless persons in public spaces.
• Enforcement of a wide range of so-called “quality of life” ordinances related to
public activities and hygiene (i.e. public urination) when no public facilities are
available to people without housing.