START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

This group is for addressing Community Aid for the Homeless in the West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Lantana, Greenacres areas. Discussions for brainstorming solutions and activities in aiding the Homeless.
Members: 49  Code of Conduct
Visibility: open
Membership: open
Group Email:


Group Communication  

  Discussion  (Create New Topic) Posts Last Post
Welcome! 22 8 years ago
Resources/Information for Palm Beach county 19 9 years ago
Help Buddy 1 8 years ago
New Catholic Worker Group 3 9 years ago
Some Pie & Coffee 1 9 years ago
A Cafe that Feeds Just the Homeless 4 10 years ago
More Discussions  »
Host Sharebook
Blog: From the National Law Center on Homeless and Poverty

Advocates Decry Increasing Homeless Civil Rights Violations Nationally

Standard - Civil Rights
Released: 01/2002

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, on the 73rd anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth, January 15th, homeless persons find their civil rights threatened in an increasing number of communities, according to a new report released today by homeless advocacy groups. The report finds that more jurisdictions are enacting laws that effectively criminalize homelessness by prohibiting activities such as sleeping or camping in public, even when no shelter beds are available.

The report finds that the use of these ordinances is increasing. Almost 80 percent of the cities surveyed in the 2002 report have laws that prohibit sleeping/ camping in public areas. Meanwhile, 100 percent of communities surveyed lack enough shelter beds to meet demand.

The report distinguishes California as the “meanest” state in the country for people who are poor and homeless, with New York City vying with Atlanta, GA and San Francisco, CA- the three meanest cities nationally- for top notoriety. Special mention goes to Palm Beach County, FL for their chillingly Orwellian methods of tracking people who are homeless.

The National Homeless Civil Rights Organizing Project (NHCROP)- a project of the National Coalition for the Homeless- has partnered this year with the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty to compile data samplings from 80 communities, both urban and rural, in 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty has published five similar reports in the past decade. This is the most comprehensive examination of its type on this issue to date.

"Homelessness will not disappear simply by putting people behind bars. We need to address the systemic causes and look at real solutions. The burden of poverty is far too great to be exacerbated by the criminalization of the impoverished. Affordable housing, health care and livable wages are what we need to truly bring an end to homelessness." stated Donald Whitehead, formerly homeless and now Executive Director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.

“Punishing homeless Americans for living in public- when thousands literally have no other alternative- is inhumane, immoral, and unjust- - and it just won’t work. What will work is affordable housing, healthcare, and living-wage jobs,” said Maria Foscarinis, Executive Director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

Paul Boden, Director of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness explains, “Homeless peoples' organizations are becoming stronger and united to defend our rights to housing, treatment, living wage jobs, and quality education. People who are homeless will not disappear or cease to exist.”

In a country where there is no jurisdiction where minimum wage earners can afford the lowest Fair Market Rent, and where rates of homelessness are rapidly growing, it is increasingly difficult for many to avoid jail as a substitute for housing. "In Atlanta, a city with no public toilets, people who are homeless are jailed for public urination, and forced to work free," asserted Anita Beaty, Director of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless.

80 communities documented in the report, Illegal to be Homeless: The Criminalization of Homelessness in the United States, published by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty:

Albuquerque, NM
Anchorage, AK
Athens, GA
Atlanta, GA
Atlantic City, NJ
Austin, TX
Baltimore, MD
Boston, MA
Buena Park, CA
Buffalo, NY
Charleston, SC
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Colorado Springs, CO
Columbus, OH
Covington, KY
Dallas, TX
Decatur, GA
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
El Paso, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Fresno, CA
Honolulu, HI
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Jacksonville, FL
Jeffersonville, IN
Kansas City, MO
Las Vegas, NV
Lexington, KY
Long Beach, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Louisville, KY
Lynnwood, WA
Memphis, TN
Mesa, AZ
Miami, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis, MN
Nashville, TN
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Norfolk, VA
Oakland, CA
Oklahoma City, OK
Omaha, NE
Palm Beach County, FL
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Pontiac, MI
Portland, ME
Portland, OR
Providence, RI
Reno, NV
Rio Piedras, PR
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Angelo, TX
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
San Juan, PR
Santa Cruz, CA
Santurce, PR
Seattle, WA
Sioux Falls, SD
St. Louis, MO
Toledo, OH
Trenton, NJ
Tucson, AZ
Tulsa, OK
Valdosta, GA
Virginia Beach, VA
Washington, DC
Wheeling, WV

12 Meanest Cities List:
New York, NY
Atlanta, GA
San Francisco, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
Jacksonville, FL
Pontiac, MI
Santa Cruz, CA
Austin, TX
Chicago, IL
Honolulu, HI
Baltimore, MD
Palm Beach County, FL

Meanest State: California


--(The report can be downloaded for free from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty's website: It can be found in the 'publications & reports' section of the site.)--

For more information, please contact:
Maria Foscarinis
Phone: 202.638.2535

Posted: Nov 27, 2005 3:31pm | (4) | (0) |  
more »
From the Web

Debbye's Sharebook
Now That It's Over 7 years ago
Close Guantanamo!! 8 years ago
Close Guantanamo 8 years ago
A Quick Thank You! 8 years ago
What's The Point? 8 years ago
Member Sharebook
( Use tag: *group:WestPalmBeachHCA* )

There are currently no Shares tagged by members of this group.
No friend members
All members in

Our sponsors help keep this site free!


Our sponsors help keep this site free!