The homeless people of Los Angeles could possibly face a more grievous future, with politicians currently seeking to ban them from sleeping within their own cars and RV’s. A similar ban, dating back to 1983, was rescinded in a federal appeals court in June last year, due to the laws vagueness in wording.
However, in an effort to permanently prohibit the homeless from sleeping in their vehicles, the city council has returned with a new and more specifically written law. What is more shocking is the city’s intentions to use the new law to financially exploit those living within their vehicles, with the city suggesting the sale of permits to grant people the “privilege” of camping in their cars for a limited time on non-residential streets.
Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer says that the new measure will “strive to meet the City Council’s goal to protect neighborhoods in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of the homeless.”
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority have estimated that about 5,000 people are currently living in around 3,000 vehicles parked across the city.
Carol Sobel, a civil rights attorney who had previously challenged the past ban told the LA Times “There is a problem with putting people in jail for performing life-sustaining functions when there is no other place to do.”
Unfortunately, the criminalization of homelessness continues to be being enacted across America, with laws prohibiting individuals from begging, sleeping, lying down, loitering or even sitting in public areas. Astonishingly, it is even illegal in some places within the U.S to feed a homeless person. With these laws in place, and slowly growing in numbers across the country, the future for homeless people looks grim and uncertain.
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