WASHINGTON (ABP) — American cities are becoming increasingly hostile to the plight of the homeless, according to a report by an advocacy group.
Almost 70 percent of the cities studied by National Coalition for the Homeless have passed one or more laws since January 2002 specifically targeting homeless people. Las Vegas topped the group's list of cities that are “meanest” in their treatment of the homeless.
Not only do new laws make it harder to live on the streets, the group said, but many cities make it illegal for charities and other organizations to perform life-sustaining activities while refusing to allocate sufficient funds to address the causes of homelessness.
In Milwaukee, for instance, a church was declared a public nuisance for feeding homeless people and allowing them to sleep at the church, the coalition reported. In Gainesville, Fla., police threatened University of Florida students with arrest if they did not stop serving meals to homeless people in a public park.
The “meanest” cities, cited by the National Coalition for the Homeless, are: 1. Las Vegas, Nev.; 2. San Francisco, Calif.; 3. New York, N.Y; 4. Los Angeles, Calif.; 5. Atlanta, Ga.; 6. Cincinnati, Ohio; 7. Key West, Fla.; 8. Austin, Texas; 9. Orlando, Fla.; 10. New Orleans, La.; 11. Sacramento, Calif.; 12. Milwaukee, Wis.; 13. Santa Cruz, Calif.; 14. Miami Beach, Fla.; 15. Jacksonville Beach; Fla.; 16. Hollywood, Fla.; 17. Santa Monica, Calif.; 18. Nashville, Tenn.; 19. Honolulu, Hawaii; 20. Boulder, Colo.