NLCHPNational Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty
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cities surveyed by the NLCHP, more than half prohibited sitting or lying
A 2014 survey of 187 cities by the NLCHP found that 24 percent of cities make it a city-wide crime to beg in public, 33 percent make it illegal to stand around or loiter anyplace in the city, 18 percent make it a crime to sleep anywhere in public, 43 percent make it illegal to sleep in your car, and 53 percent make it illegal to sit or lie down in particular public places.
Interestingly, many of the articles and columns detailing ongoing patterns of criminalization also present various alternatives to criminalization that accord with, but also go beyond, those suggested by Maria Foscarinis and the NLCHP.
As the NLCHP report observes, when it comes to health and safety concerns, "in most cases the presence of people sleeping, sitting, or lying down in public places, or peacefully soliciting alms, cannot reasonably be deemed a direct threat to public health or safety.
The NLCHP (1999) asserts that the theory "raises serious concerns about basic fairness.
A joint report by the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) and the NLCHP (2002) confirms the prevalence of such practices: "People who are homeless routinely report losing their possessions, identification, medication, and employment as a result of being arrested.
NCH and NLCHP 2002 Illegal to Be Homeless: The Criminalization of Homelessness in the United States.