Sunday, September 20, 2015

Will The US Gov't End Homeless Hate Laws?

Recently, the Federal Department of Justice announced that criminalizing homelessness is unconstitutional. While the news lacked any real teeth, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may have significantly changed that situation.

Now in a bold and seriously under-reported move, HUD has announced that counties and cities across America will be required to describe how they are reducing criminalization of homelessness when they re-apply for annual funding from the Federal Government. Future funding levels for at least some grants may be partially determined by how the applicant answers this question.

Broward County receives millions every year in HUD grants. And yet, the City of Fort Lauderdale has perhaps more anti-homeless laws on record than any City
in America. They are also spending tens of thousands of dollars fighting lawsuits filed against them for the  outdoor food sharing ban. Theoretically this could effect many major cities just in this one state, such as Miami, Tampa, St Petersburg, Orlando, Pensacola, and many others that have recently endorsed or passed laws criminalizing homeless activities or targeted homeless aid operations with arrest and raids.

Could the threat of a HUD-led boycott of Fort Lauderdale finally convince Mayor Seiler and company to change course?

If so, it will hopefully happen soon. Intercession Food Pantry closed its doors this week, making it at least the third homeless service provider shut down this year by government hands. All Saint's Mission in Oakland is also listed for shutdown but still has 3 years to attempt to relocate.

1 comment:

  1. City of Tampa has also just shut down two of Homeless Helping Homeless's locations as well.