29 Whittier L. Rev. 515 (2007-2008)
Adding Insult to Injury: Criminalization of Homelessness in Los Angeles

handle is hein.journals/whitlr29 and id is 531 raw text is: ADDING INSULT TO INJURY: CRIMINALIZATION
OF HOMELESSNESS IN LOS ANGELES
I. INTRODUCTION
Public intolerance towards the homeless seems to be a rapidly
growing trend across the nation. A greatly inaccurate portrayal of the
homeless population creates a highly misinformed public which
bolsters the public's intolerance. As the homeless population continues
to grow, the homeless stereotype must be corrected for any resolution
to take place.
There were 744,000 homeless people living in the United States
in 2005.1 California is reported as having the largest population of
homeless in the United States at more than 170,000.2       The leading
causes of homelessness are mental illness, substance abuse, domestic
violence, low-paying jobs, and . . . the chronic lack of affordable
housing.3 Within the Los Angeles homeless population, up to fifty
percent are mentally ill, and in 1990, seventy-six percent of homeless
adults were employed shortly before becoming homeless.4 A quarter
of the homeless are children, and thirty-seven percent of the homeless
are families with children.5
1. Study Shows 744,000 were Homeless in U.S. in 2005, L.A. Times A16 (Jan. 11,
2007).
2. Id. (citing to Mary Cunningham & Meghan Henry, Natl. Alliance to End
Homelessness,             Homelessness             Counts             3,
http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/general/detail/1440 (last accessed Nov. 13,
2007)).
3. Jones v. City of L.A., 444 F.3d 1118, 1123 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Inst. for the
Study of Homelessness and Poverty, Who is Homeless in Los Angeles? 3 (Weingart
Ctr. 2000) (available at http://bringlahome.org/docs/jtf.pdf) (last accessed Nov. 13,
2007)).
4. Id. (citing Inst. for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty, supra n. 3, at 2).
5. Maria Foscarinis, Testimony Before the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, Situation of the Right to Adequate Housing in the Americas [1 5] (D.C., Mar. 5,
2005)                            (available                           at
http://www.nlchp.org/content/pubsTestimony%20of%2OMF%20to%201nter-
American%20Comm%20on%20HR 1.pdf) (last accessed Nov. 13, 2007).

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