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Giving Compass' Take:
• Global Citizen reports that Boise, ID, along with other cities in the U.S., are passing laws that make sure homeless people aren't punished for sleeping outside if there are no shelters available.
• With the affordable housing crisis continuing, it's imperative that we don't criminalize poverty as we look to more humane solutions to homelessness.
Some U.S. cities can’t ticket homeless people for sleeping on the street anymore, but only if they don’t have access to shelters.
In Boise, ID, a federal appeal court recently classified prosecuting the homeless for sleeping on public property as cruel and unusual punishment, which is unconstitutional, AP reports.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling favored six Boise homeless residents who sued the city in 2009 because sleeping in public was illegal at that time.
As a result of the ruling, other cities in California and elsewhere on the West Coast with similar laws might soon have to lift their bans on sleeping outdoors, too, according to the Los Angeles Times.
There simply aren’t enough shelters to accommodate everyone who needs them. In 2017, after seven years of steady decline, the US homeless population increased to roughly 554,000 people who slept in cars, tents, or shelters. The rise in big cities has been attributed to the West Coast’s affordable-housing crisis, which emerged as a result of rising rents and low wages.
Read the full article about why it should be harder to punish homeless for sleeping outside by Leah Rodriguez at Global Citizen.