Read the report by University of Denver Sturm College of Law Homeless Advocacy Policy Project — Too High a Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado.
“LIKE MOST OF AMERICA, COLORADO FACES A HOMELESS EPIDEMIC. Amidst a stark rise in housing costs and equally sharp drop in available affordable housing, Colorado’s cities struggle to address the overwhelming needs of its homeless residents. While professing a dedication to eliminating homelessness through homeless and poverty services, state actors continue to write, pass, and enforce local ordinances that criminalize life-sustaining behaviors. Laws that criminalize panhandling, begging, camping, sitting or lying in public, and vagrancy target and disproportionately impact residents that are homeless for activities they must perform in the course of daily living. This Report examines how laws criminalizing homeless people for being homeless have become widespread in Colorado. Through a comprehensive analysis of the enforcement of anti-homeless laws, this Report also examines the cost—economic and social—anti-homeless laws impose upon all Colorado citizens.”