Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

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You want to know what tyranny looks like here in the United States? I’ve got an example for you.

Tyranny looks like homeless people coming onto your property, putting up a tent, drinking and having sex out there and all without your permission. Then when you want to go out and tell them to leave, the police show up and arrest you. That is tyranny.

This isn’t something I’m just arbitrarily making up something either. This is actually what’s going on in America.

Right now, three states – California, Ohio, and Oregon are all going through a time where bills are being pushed that would force private property owners to relinquish their land rights and be forced to permit homeless people to camp out on their property as long as they want.

Then if they try to do something about it, it would be against the law and they could then be arrested. This is just absurd!

Two recent court decisions surrounding homelessness may have a big impact on people sleeping on city streets. While the U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear a case about criminalizing homelessness, an appeals court ruled encampments are allowed on private property.

Kevin Finn has worked to end homelessness in Cincinnati for 21 years. He cautiously applauds the two recent court rulings that address the criminalization of sleeping on the streets.

“I don’t think there’s anything helpful about making it a criminal act for people to be sleeping outside if ultimately what we want is for people to get into housing,” said Finn.

The Supreme Court will not hear a case on a ban against homeless people sleeping in public spaces. That now means there’s a constitutional right to camp in public.

“Filing charges, making things they’re doing illegal, making their police history longer is not helpful for the long-term goal,” said Finn.

Ohio’s First District Court of Appeals says governments cannot ban homeless encampments from private property — like Hamilton County did at the New Prospect Baptist Church in 2018.

I don’t think it’s ever a good move to ever try to criminalize people sleeping outside,” said Finn. “But at the same time, a homeless person is three times more likely to die sleeping outside on the streets, so we need to find a balance where we’re not encouraging people to sleep outside in camps either.”

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