Does L.A.’s ban on sleeping in cars discriminate against the homeless?

The City of Los Angeles has adopted a law that would ban people from sleeping in their cars near schools, parks, and homes. This law limits the extent of a 2014 court ruling that struck down a 1986 ban on living in cars for discriminating against the city’s homeless population.

The city council cited the unsanitary conditions, noise, crime, and economic loss that results from people living out of cars, as well as concern from people who live in neighborhoods where people have taken up residence in their cars. But many opponents of the ban would say that the measure will all but criminalize homelessness and do nothing to solve the root problem.

“No one would sleep in their car, live in their car if they had a home,” Megan Hustings, interim director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, tells the Christian Science Monitor. “These laws are blatantly discriminatory against people who are experiencing homelessness and are frankly counterproductive. Making it illegal to be homeless is in no way helping to solve someone’s homelessness. It is not showing any concern for that person who is living in inhumane conditions and isn’t that where our concern should be?” READ MORE.

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