The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) has a released a report detailing a growing trend in U.S. cities: the criminalization of homelessness. How do places make life (more) miserable for the shelter-less? Via “quality of life” laws making it illegal to sleep, eat, or sit in public spaces. Even as the ranks of the homeless have swelled over the last year or so of recession and foreclosures, the number of anti-loitering regulations in U.S. cities has shot upwards. Of course, people often don’t have a choice about sleeping or wandering outside; most cities and towns don’t have adequate shelter space or affordable housing to meet demand.
So, where are America’s most homeless-hostile cities? Seven out of the top ten are located in California or Florida, with Los Angeles taking the number one spot, followed by St. Petersburg and Orlando, FL; Atlanta; and Gainesville, FL. So, if you’re riding the rails, you may want to steer clear of those towns and try Milwaukee or something.