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Law Center slams L.A. as America's 'meanest city' toward homeless

Los Angeles tops the list of America's "10 Meanest Cities" in its treatment of the homeless as criminals, two legal advocacy agencies for the poor say in a report proposing alternatives for handling the down-and-out.

The survey of 273 cities by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless based its rankings on the number of laws targeting the homeless by making it illegal to sleep, eat or sit in public spaces.

"Homelessness in America is a human-rights crisis right here at home," said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the law center. "As foreclosures continue and the recession deepens, the crisis is affecting more and more Americans. But while some cities offer a helping hand, too often, as documented in our report, cities adopt unjust laws and practices that punish people simply for being poor and homeless."

Tulin Ozdeger, the law center's civil rights program director, argued that it costs more to jail a homeless person in violation of the "inhumane" laws than to provide permanent housing.

Other cities rounding out the list in the report, titled Homes, Not Handcuffs, are 2) St. Petersburg, Fla.; 3) Orlando, Fla.; 4) Atlanta;5) Gainesville, Fla.; 6) Kalamazoo, Mich.; 7) San Francisco; 8) Honolulu;9) Bradenton, Fla.; 10) Berkeley, Calif.

To view the full homeless report, visit: http://www.nlchp.org/

--Carol J. Williams

Comments () | Archives (47)

Hmmm...what are all those liberal-heart celebrities when you need them?

Yawn. A group of overpaid lawyers call Los Angeles the meanest city? That's rich.

I believe it!

In downtown LA the developers have taken over many hotels and areas that once housed the poor or "down and out". Leaving these human beings with no place to go other than the street.

The new tenants who can afford the high rents take over the neighborhood ..leaving no place for the poor. And then have the nerve to complain about the homeless people in "their" area.

To jail someone because they are homeless is ridiculous...insensitive...inhuman!

wow. I'm glad this was publicized. I hope we hear more.

Mean toward the homeless??? What about just plan mean, period! I visited Los Angeles during the summer of 2006 (July4-14), and I had never encountered such rude and standoffish, mean people anywhere. It definitely reminded me of New York City during the late 70's to mid 80's. We (my family) have not been back since.

I was robbed by a homeless man in L.A. two weeks ago. I know others who have been violently attacked and robbed in L.A by homeless. too. The meaner we are to the homeless, the better, I say. Relocate the homeless out of public areas for our safety please. Put them in a field somewhere with a tent and donations and make it far far away please.

Guess if we stop taking care of the illegals, there might be money for housing for the homeless.

The National Law Center should also rate the meanest homeless. LA's homeless would probably rate as the meanest since I have been yelled at, cursed, and kicked by LA homeless.

Back in reality the homeless have the run of basically everywhere.
Visiting Santa Monica or downtown LA is like going to a homeless convention.

I dont think LA is all that mean to the homeless.. we have a incredibly disproportionate number of the countries homeless population here, which requires more regulation, and control. I think cincinnati, my home town.. is far crueler to the homeless than LA.. they require a homeless person to register for a license to beg for money.. and if they are begging without one, they can move them out of the city limits.. and they didnt even make the list.

How about a link to the report? That would be helpful I think.

Well maybe if the rich bedroom communities and neighboring counties would stop dumping all their homeless in our city we would not need such draconian laws.

Why does LA have to take care of every homeless person from Bakersfield to Mexico?

I also have noticed people here in LA are the stingiest when it comes to leaving a tip. I eat out often and I also try to leave at least 15-20 percent tip. I watch other patrons when they leave and sometimes I see nothing or just a dollar for a tip on the table. I have watched these people go out to their expensive cars (BMW,Mercedes. Lexus usuallly) and leave.

Also at church when the contribution basket gets passed I see people ignore it. I then see them go out to their expensive cars with the "bling" wheels and drive off.

People in LA are the most tightest, stingiest, self centered people I have seen anywhere so far.

To be homeless in Los Angeles is a HORRIFYING event every single day.

The Homeless Veteran programs are the worst, automatically diagnosed mentally ill & alcoholic/addicted, forced to convert to the 12-Step Religious cult, jammed packed shelters, no privacy ever allowed including open toilets/showers, ran on the prison-model, watched by armed guards 24/7, rule-rule-and more rules, chores-chores-and more chores, no REAL training allowed, dead-end jobs, fed handfuls of brain frying meds not even approved for animal, fed rotten food-bank discards, everywhere you go you have to have verification and proof. Some veterans say the homeless veteran system in the USA is WORSE THAN WAR!

Try Denver Colorado for the polar opposite of LA. The crooked poverty pimps who run things here have never seen a drug addict they dint' love becasue they could profit off him. The mayor John Hickenlooper (he was a boy bar owner) is the John Lindsey of Colorado and he has never seen an billionaire or a member of the lumpen proletariat he didn't love. He went to Wesleyan afterall.

This same mayor owned bars that employed illegals one of whom murdered a Denver cop. But the mayor is no idiot. Now the crooked cops (see Serpico) have been bought off and love the homeless almost as much as the mayor does. Such a role modlel business man he is.

The poverty pimps all are children of the elite who profit well off the agencies they run much of which have no audited financial statements. The homeless are Mother Theresas in drag. Just ask a suburban idiot who loves them.

God bless LA and god damn the Tammany Hall grifters who run Denver.

Please publish the list of the 10 friendliest cities, and hand it out to the homeless.

With the exception of Kalamazoo, Michigan ... all of the other areas listed in the top ten are warmer climates which usually means more homeless, doesn't it? I haven't researched numbers, but when there is more homeless, there are usually more problems and thus more laws that need to be put in place. I'm not saying that we should be inhumane, but we can't make it easy either or some won't want to change for the better. I do think there should be some more housing so that people can lift themselves off the streets, but there also needs to be limits so that some won't exploit it.

I'll be the first to admit that laws that make life more difficult for homeless are inhumane and unjust. Probably unconstitutional if challenged in court. I thought this was America, land of the Free and Home of the Brave. A place where people could roam around freely and without limits. We need to get back to those ideals.

The homeless problem is huge, for Los Angeles far greater than the city itself can afford. Estimates of the number of homeless in Los Angeles City range from 30 - 50 thousand.

The cost of housing these people at a rate of $900/month/individual equals $27,000,000 per month.

The homeless problem is a national problem, not a localized problem. Due to nice weather Los Angeles and other coastal cities have an inordinate number of homeless from other regions of the country. We cannot, ourselves, pick up the tab for everyone else.

Well, what about it Obama?

This is a pretty pathetic category to be #1 in. But it doesn't surprise me since I see LAPD harass the homeless to "move on."

Oh but who cares that the 'priests' of the New World 'Odor' are pursuing deliberate economic goals that serve to hyperinflate the suffering ranks of the once prosperous, hard working, goal oriented, moral middle class leaving them, man, woman, child, families to fight for gutter scraps; while they engineer policies for homosexuals to be handed the keys to the world.
Is anyone awake out there? There is judgement, justice and reckoning in the not distant future.

Nothing wrong with this tag. The city is broke. The state is broke. Time for people to take care of themselves. When you're drowning, there comes a time when you have to let go of the weight that's pulling you down.

They are as bad as the ACLU who support gang bangers. Please, this is all for publicity for the Center cause they need money. Again, bad reporting by Times. Why don't you report that skid row has more arrests of heroin and drug dealers. How many actors have been arrested near skid row?

Connect the dots on your front page..."Meanest City Towards Homeless" and "Violent Crime Down 6%". That can't be a coincidence.

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