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Reports

The Law Center creates reports on homelessness and poverty and leverages these as outreach tools for policymakers, advocates, and the public. These reports analyze emerging trends and discuss their legal and policy implications while offering recommendations. The Law Center’s reports are widely covered in the media, ensuring the public and policymakers remain abreast of growing trends and giving advocates concrete tools with which to create change.

 

From Wrongs to Rights
The Case for Homeless Bill of Rights Legislation

There is a new legislative tool gaining momentum across the country: homeless bill of rights. This report surveys the common rights violations experienced by homeless Americans, describes homeless bills of rights enacted and proposed in several states, and provides advocates with guidance for pursuing similar legislation in their states.

Welcome Home
The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States
This report documents the rise of homeless encampments and "tent cities" across the United States, and the legal and policy responses to that growth.

Human Right to Housing Report Card 2013
This report card assesses the current level of U.S. compliance with the human right to housing in the context of American homelessness. In doing so, we consider the country as a whole, and policy at all levels of government, as it relates to homelessness, including its prevention.

This Land is Your Land

How Surplus Property Can Prevent and End Homelessness
This is the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty's third report on Title V of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which allows vacant federal property to be used, for free, by eligible groups who provide housing or services to homeless persons. Protecting and expanding the ability of homeless service providers to access unused federal property is a critical part of the effort to end and prevent homelessness.

Criminalizing Crisis
The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities

Despite the fact that communities all over the country lack adequate affordable housing and shelter space, cities are continuing to penalize people forced to live on our streets and in public spaces. Criminalization measures often prohibit activities like as sleeping/camping, eating, sitting, and/or begging in public spaces and include criminal penalties for violations of these laws. Some cities have even enacted restrictions that punish groups and individuals for serving food to homeless people. Many of these measures appear to be designed to move homeless persons out of sight, or even out of a given city. Criminalizing Crisis, the Law Center’s tenth report on the criminalization of homelessness, provides an overview of the criminalization measures in place across the country, as well as guidance on how advocates can combat them and promote more constructive alternatives.
    Additional Resources
Criminalizing Crisis Advocacy Manual

A Place at the Table
Prohibitions on Sharing Food with People Experiencing Homelessness

Uncomfortable with visible homelessness in their communities and influenced by myths about homeless people’s food access, cities use food sharing restrictions to move homeless people out of sight, an action that often exacerbates the challenges people experiencing homelessness face each day just to survive. This report focuses on ordinances, policies, and tactics that discourage or prohibit individuals and groups from sharing food with homeless persons. The report also highlights constructive alternatives to food sharing restrictions, in the form of innovative programs that both adults and youth are implementing to share food with people experiencing homelessness in their communities.
 
Alone Without A Home
A State-by-State Review of Laws Affecting Unaccompanied Youth
Each year, an estimated 1.6 million children and youth (ages 12-17) experience homelessness without a parent or guardian. unaccompanied homeless youth face numerous legal barriers that often complicate their attempts to meet the basic necessities of life on their own and prevent them from reaching out for assistance to state agencies and service providers that could otherwise help them. This report reviews the state of current law in 12 key issue areas that affect the lives and future prospects of unaccompanied homeless youth in all 50 U.S. states and 6 territories.

Eviction (without) Notice
Renters and the Foreclosure Crisis

This report focuses on a critically important, but often overlooked, aspect of the foreclosure crisis: its impact on tenants. A 2009 federal law, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (“PTFA”), created important new rights for tenants living in foreclosed properties. Many tenants and their advocates are unaware of these rights, however, and banks and their agents are often in violation of the law. This report reviews the impact of foreclosure on tenants, summarizes the provisions of the new law, describes ongoing violations of the PTFA, and provides a review of changes in state law since the PTFA’s enactment.

Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading
Homelessness in the United States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Committee

This report details violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) stemming from U.S. policy toward the more than 3.5 million people who experience homelessness in the U.S. annually. While the U.S. government should be commended for recognizing that the imposition of criminal penalties on homeless people is counterproductive public policy in violation of the ICCPR and Convention Against Torture, criminalization of homelessness at the state and local levels continues to cause significant rights violations.

Simply Unacceptable
Homelessness and the Human Right to Housing in the United States
Prior to the foreclosure crisis and economic recession, homelessness was already a national crisis. Since then, homelessness has increased dramatically. This report assesses the current level of U.S. compliance with the human right to housing in the context of American homelessness. In doing so, we consider the country as a whole, and policy at all levels of government, as it related to homelessness, including its prevention. It is not, and not intended to be, a comprehensive review and assessment of implementation of all aspects of the right.

Homeless Advocates Group 2013 Policy Priorities 
This document lists joint priorities homeless advocates share in 2013. The list includes increasing appropriations for affordable housing and programs that serve homeless persons, capitalizing the National Housing Trust Fund, implementing the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansion, and opposing the criminalization of homelessness.     

Annual Report 2012
Looking back and moving forward: 25 years after the McKinney-Vento Act, the work continues
In 2012, with your support, the Law Center used the power of the law to protect the human dignity and basic rights of homeless Americans—to help prevent and end homelessness. 

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