In this post I plan to cover seven laws that  targeted the homeless.  If  you think locally about these laws as you read this post, can realize that the laws apply to all citizens. Not just the homeless. But having spent time on the streets walking among the homeless I will tell you, the homeless feel targeted by the laws I will discuss here.

But when the homeless are thinking logically some realize that they are not targets. A few homeless on the streets will even go as far to tell you that the laws do not apply to them. The reason stated for this most often is because they are homeless. But realize that being homeless is not an entitlement. But a status you  are tagged with. While some people face homelessness for a longer period of time that some. So lets begin are discussion about specific laws that are on the books. And enforceable by law enforcement.

Specific Laws Homeless Feel Targeted By:

Some of the most common problems faced by the homeless community which may or may not lead to arrest include:

Loitering:

Now this may not seem like much. However it is widely illegal in many states. If a person is on the end of the street for one day or even two days, that’s fine. However if that same person has been on the end of the street for five weeks, it becomes a public concern. Passers-by might feel unsafe, inconvenienced by the presence of a person living on the side of the street or in some extreme cases even harassed. It is for these reasons exactly that the homeless are shunned away and even sometimes arrested for loitering. However the key factor here is that it is not just the homeless that would be arrested but anyone who was loitering in a neighborhood where they weren’t allowed to do so.

Trespassing:

Often times the homeless folk trespass into territories where they have no right to set foot in. These may be abandoned buildings, underside of empty houses, offices no longer in use even parking lots.In these cases even though they cannot be blamed for wanting nothing more than shelter from the forces of nature, they are in fact committing the crime of trespassing into someone else’s territory without consent.

This means the law can can target them as they please. Oftentimes  the legal system works against these people who are already facing extremely harsh living circumstances.

Panhandling:

Keeping in mind that that the homeless are so short of money that they cannot even afford to live somewhere it is a far assumption that most of them are desperate for money. Enough of them can be seen panhandling or begging for money to say that mostly all of them beg for loose change. Now, panhandling in itself again is not illegal in some cities. However in many circumstances the law can see this as “soliciting” which is, once again illegal. Action can be taken against the homeless on the basis of soliciting. And hence cause them more problems than they already have.

Littering:

The homeless have nowhere to call their own and therefore no place to keep their what little belongings they posses. Therefore, whatever they do have they have to either carry on their backs or leave them on the pavements and sidewalks. Although this is not done with the intention of littering, there are many instances the homeless   punished by the law for leaving their belongings on the ground as the law might see it as littering.

Urban Camping:

A lot of homeless folk sleep on the ground, underneath bridges or even on the sidewalks. This is considered urban camping which is once again illegal in many places. If found doing so, the people sleeping on the ground might even get arrested.  This specific thing is a hot topic across the country in many courtrooms.

Indecent Exposure:

Like us fortunate people,  the homeless obviously do not even access to basic necessities of life such as bathroom facilities. Therefore many of them answer nature’s calls behind dumpsters and in alleys. If caught by the police or even reported doing so random civilians, this can be taken as “indecent exposure” which is once again illegal and can lead to arrest and penalties.

Failure To Identify:

The homeless don’t even have access to basic needs of human life. Let alone paperwork and identification in most cases. When those people are caught by the police, they are asked to provide their ID cards in order to prove their identities. In cases where they fail to comply, it is considered as “failure to identify” which is against the law in most countries. This can lead to tedious hours spent in the police station where those people are not questioned but also mishandled.

Conclusion:

There are many homeless people on the streets the feel that committing crimes is alright. Some of those who are homeless even validate their illegal actions as a matter of survival. But to say a homeless citizens has to do criminal acts to survive is just crazy to me. I was homeless for a little more than nine months and I survived the ordeal just fine.  And I never had to do crimes to make it on the street.

People in the homeless communities feel that police target them with the laws I mention above. But the truth is the laws talked about here apply to all citizens. So if you or I broke any of the stated laws we would be arrested or cited for the crime.

Let’s realize that law enforcement officers are their to protect all citizens of a community. Not just the citizens who go to work daily. Let’s realize also law enforcement is like any career – there are some good cops and some bad cops. No police officer that I know of picks on homeless people. But he or she does enforce the laws that are legal and on the books of the state or city.

I don’t buy into the idea that police set out to pick on the homeless. But do understand that many homeless people feel targeted by the above seven laws.

And they have the right to feel that way if they wish. If you are homeless and have been targeted by police with any of the laws I talk about in this post let me know. If yo have put Yes in the comment section below this post. If not put no. Just trying to get a feel for homeless people who feel targeted by these laws. My God Bless You! Have A Blessed Day Now!