Welcome Home: Tent Cities on the Rise

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty recently released report, Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States, documents media reports of homeless encampments in 46 of 50 states. "While individuals may 'choose' to live in an encampment, it is our collective choices as a society that force this choice due to failure to create adequate affordable housing solutions or even the basic safety net of adequate shelters," said Eric Tars, Director of Human Rights & Children's Rights Programs at the Law Center, "Tent cities represent our country's failure to guarantee the human right to housing, and should never be considered permanent solutions; but where they exist, residents must be treated with respect and only evicted by making adequate alternatives available." The report builds on previous Law Center reports on the criminalization of homelessness which emphasize that criminalization of homelessness is not only legally and morally improper, but fiscally imprudent for communities. Welcome Home contains a number of policy recommendations that can be implemented by federal, state, and local authorities. The Law Center also held a webinar on Thursday, March 6, which discussed the report and other issues of concern. A recorded version of the webinar can be viewed here.

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