Say it With Us: Homelessness is Not a Crime
As California struggles to help its homeless residents, some leaders are calling for an increase in forced institutionalization, as others find unconstitutional ways to dehumanize people living on the street. Not only are these actions inhumane, they are costly, inefficient, and not how we will solve this problem.
Our advocates work to protect tenants from losing their homes before they become homeless, and to pressure the state and local governments to invest in more permanent supportive housing and deeply affordable housing where people with very low or no income can live. Those are sustainable solutions that will lift us out of crisis. The criminal justice system will not.
Last week, Western Center’s Jen Flory wrote for CalMatters on why arresting people who are homeless will make a bad problem worse. Read here →
“It doesn’t result in people stabilizing over the long term.”
That’s Western Center policy advocate Anya Lawler quoted in a Los Angeles Times editorial opposing a proposed ballot measure by former Assemblyman Mike Gatto, which would forcefully institutionalize people experiencing homelessness who are deemed mentally unwell. Read here →
In a recent blog post, Western Center attorney Alex Prieto explains how we intervened to stop a local ordinance in San Clemente from forcing people experiencing homelessness to camp next to a waste treatment plant. He also explains why it’s more important than ever to ring the alarm against the growing interest among California leaders to criminalize homelessness. Read here →
Help Spread the Word
Please talk to your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors about holding California accountable for humane solutions to homelessness. If they’d like to learn more, encourage them to sign up for our newsletter on our website and follow us on social media.