California Law Criminalizes Sleeping While Homeless

Nevada City, California has passed a new law which requires homeless people to have a permit to sleep in public.

Nevada City, California will provide a handful of permits to homeless persons if they submit themselves to a police background check. Even if they have done nothing illegal, the small number of permits give the police the power to send anyone else having the audacity to want to shut their eyes and rest their weary head while living in abject poverty moving on down the road to the next town.

How is it that when your world falls down around you, your basic rights vanish and the police treat you like some vermin that must be eradicated?

Via:

Nevada City, California has passed a new law which requires homeless people to have a permit to sleep in public.

Chief James Wickham told CBS Sacramento: “The goal is to start managing the homeless population within our city. Those are the ones we really don’t want in our city and that we’re trying to keep from camping in our city.”

A no-camping ordinance was also passed by the city, which would criminalize the poor for sleeping in a car, tent or in the woods.

However, if the police give a permit to a homeless person, then that poor person would not be arrested for sleeping.

There are no similar permits required for non-homeless people who might take a nap in a park.

Wickham says he has identified about 60 homeless persons in Nevada City, and will hand out approximately 6 to 10 sleeping permits. If it "works out" he will consider more permits in about 6 months.

The Chief claims that the majority of the area's homeless are "troublemakers," and "criminals," and he hopes his goal of managing the city's homeless population will rid them of these undesirables.

I've got more than a handful of people now that I would like to see be visited by three spirits in the night, and not a moment too soon.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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