page 33 report Ten Meanest Cities
While most cities throughout the country either have laws or engage in practices that
criminalize homeless persons, some city laws or practices stand out as more egregious than others in their attempt to criminalize homelessness. The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless have chosen the following top 10 meanest cities during 2007 and 2008 based on one or more of the following criteria: the number of anti-homeless laws in the city, the enforcement of those laws and severity of penalties, the general political climate toward homeless people in the city, local advocate support for the meanest designation, the city’s history of criminalization measures, and the existence of pending or recently enacted criminalization legislation in the city. Although some of the report’s top 10 meanest cities have made some efforts to address homelessness in their communities, the punitive practices highlighted in the report impede true progress toward solving the problem.
  1. Los Angeles, CA
  2. St. Petersburg, FL
  3. Orlando, FL
  4. Atlanta, GA
  5. Gainesville, FL
  6. Kalamazoo, MI
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Honolulu, HI
  9. Bradenton, FL
  10. Berkeley, CA