The criminalization of homelessness refers to measures that prohibit life-sustaining activities such as sleeping/camping, eating, sitting, and/or asking for money/resources in public spaces. These ordinances include criminal penalties for violations of these acts.
There are multiple types of criminalization measures which include:
- Carrying out sweeps (confiscating personal property including tents, bedding, papers, clothing, medications, etc.) in city areas where homeless people live.
- Making panhandling illegal.
- Making it illegal for groups to share food with homeless persons in public spaces.
- Enforcing a “quality of life” ordinance relating to public activity and hygiene.
At the event, I met a man named Rick who took part in a documentary about homelessness in Orlando. The first thing that comes to mind from Orlando is Disney World; not the city with most violent acts against homeless people.
I’m nervous around people in general which is why I don’t really go out and volunteer and lead or whatever. This event seemed like something I could do, and I did it. I never yelled at a homeless person, but I also never really acknowledged them. So I’m going to try to take this next step as we’re all not that many steps away from being in the same position.