With no other resources to deal with homeless people, US cities are increasingly calling for a legislative solution to get rid of the problem: criminalize street housing, with fines and jail terms.
The last city to pass such a law was Lacey in Washington state. The law, passed unanimously by the City Council, authorizes police to fine people who camp in public places at $ 1,000. And if they are criminally prosecuted, they can get 90 days in jail.
 Lacey created her law based on “models” already approved in other cities, including San Clemente (California), Centennial (Colorado) and Beaverton (Oregon). Generally, the promise of this type of law is that it will only be enforced if homeless shelter is available. But there is a distrust of that promise.
 In Hawaii's capital, Honolulu, a tourist paradise and supposedly the most homeless US city, police have been destroying makeshift tents and arresting people living in public places.
 In San Diego, California, a beach town, police destroyed tents and distributed quotes to residents seeking shelter, days before the city began its annual homeless count.
 Cities argue that such laws encourage homeless people to stay in shelters. Many homeless people argue that there are no beds available and no place to put their belongings.
 Opponents of these laws say that penalties for those who camp in public places - usually parks, plazas (often around town halls) - violate the Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.
 At least one federal court has already agreed with this argument. Judges at a California regional appeals court have ruled that fining homeless people for anything beyond their control - that they have no place to live but the street - is a cruel and unusual punishment. But they made one caveat:  Police can fine if space is available in shelters and people still sleep on the streets.
 Based on this decision, some cities have been appealing to the courts to get rid of homeless people. For example, Santa Cruz (California), also a beach town with a good tourist flow, has emptied camps in public places, with permission from a federal judge and the promise of handing out vouchers to (cheap) shelters and hotels in the area.
 In Oakland, California, police emptied a camp that housed more women and children, with the blessings of a federal judge. The magistrate argued that the ruling of the regional appeals court did not necessarily establish "the constitutional right to occupy public property indefinitely." Cities argue that by forcing homeless people off the streets, they offer shelter to them.
Indigence in the USA
 US Department of Housing and Urban Development statistics indicate that by 2018 there were 552,830 homeless people in the country - 17 of every 10,000 people. Of this total, 67% live alone. The remaining 33% are families with children.
 Among homeless homeless, 7% are young people under 25; 7% are war veterans; 18% are “chronically homeless” people; and the remaining group is made up of people with physical and mental disabilities.
 Most of the people alone (70%) are men. Whites represent 50% of the homeless population. The population of African Americans and Native Americans is smaller compared to the general population of the country. But the percentage is considerable if the basis of comparison is the number of blacks and natives living in the country.

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