When Shelters Are Full, Can Cities Herd Homeless People Into Jails?

The Ninth Circuit says no, and the Supreme Court isn't weighing in.


On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to take on a case about how the city of Boise, Idaho, treats its homeless citizens, leaving in place a ruling that says it's unconstitutional to punish people for sleeping outdoors if the city lacks alternatives.

The justices turned away Martin v. Boise, a case where a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that Boise's practice of citing homeless people for camping outdoors violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments since these people did not have alternative shelter options.

This doesn't mean that people can just choose to sleep on sidewalks and in parks if they want to, but rather that a city cannot punish homeless people for camping in public space if the city has not provided enough shelter for them. It's a ruling about shelters and housing, not an acknowledgment of some sort of right to live on public land.

The city of Boise has since changed its ordinances to state that they won't be enforced against homeless people when shelters are full. But the Supreme Court's refusal to take the case leaves big cities with large homeless populations along the West Coast (where the Ninth Circuit rules) with a clear message that they can't use the law to try to run their homeless population out of town—the only way out is to build.

That's a problem in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco, where overly meddlesome regulations and demands from the state and the cities make it very, very hard (if not impossible) for private developers to build any housing at all, let alone affordable housing for the poor. Expensive labor requirements drive up costs, and unions threaten environmental lawsuits against developers who don't contract with them. There's also the issue of homeowners who will lobby their local council members and city planners to block new housing or businesses (or turn to California's overly broad environmental law to sue them, if lobbying fails).

It's particularly telling that the Los Angeles Times describes this outcome as a "setback" for city officials in Los Angeles and elsewhere for getting rid of homeless encampments. Even though the city has committed more than $1 billion to build housing for its massive homeless population, resistance from within neighborhoods themselves have made it nearly impossible, and even where it is possible, regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles have made it absurdly expensive, approaching $700,000 a unit.

Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller recently covered L.A.'s inability to house its homeless population:

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  1. Looks like a great place to live.

    1. I thought Boise was smack-dab in the middle of the white conservative utopia. What went wrong?

      1. Are you directly referencing the black person in the top picture?

      2. A lot of affluent urban whites have experienced “diversity” and are saying “no thanks”.

      3. “I thought Boise was smack-dab in the middle of the white conservative utopia. What went wrong?”

        Are you trying to beat Sqrlsy One for most idiotic posts? You’ve got the silver now; keep it up.

      4. Progtard shitholes are busy their homeless to better cities, like Boise. Spokane too.

        If we got rid of the progressives, most of these probes would be gone.

        1. ‘Busing their homeless’

      5. “What went wrong?” — The Obama Recession drove millions of California liberals into Boise. The City itself is now more liberal than not and looks almost like Little-CA.

  2. >>if the city lacks alternatives.

    but then you gotta force them into the alternatives.

  3. Beginning in 2021 homelessness will cease being a problem. That’s when the Democratic President will implement unlimited, unrestricted immigration. The influx of highly skilled doctors and engineers will strengthen our economy so much, everyone will be able to afford housing.


    1. What could go wrong?

    2. Someone has been smoking way too much meth.

  4. Eliminate public space. Problem solved.

    1. If the taxpayers can’t use the parks because they’re full of non-tax paying bums, then the taxpayers certainly need to ask their city council why they’re funding the parks and recreation department, that’s for sure.

      1. They should have done a ‘Parks and Recreation’ episode on the subject.

    2. Yeah, that’s gonna be a no from me, dawg. A society without public spaces sounds ripe for all kinds of tyrannies, petty and horrifying.

      1. Yep. Public bathrooms are the best, right?

      2. “A society without public spaces sounds ripe for all kinds of tyrannies, petty and horrifying.”

        As opposed to the society with public spaces that also includes those things. As with anything, it would be much cheaper to let the private sector deal with it.

        1. The progtards are the problem. Nothing gets better until they are gone.

      3. Oh I’m sure someone will develop a mobile app so that those who have smartphones can negotiate easements with or send micropayments to every landowner who owns every GPS location that the chip implanted in your brain says belongs to a specific landowner. It’s the height of ancap and propertarian freedom.

  5. “a city cannot punish homeless people for camping in public space if the city has not provided enough shelter for them. It’s a ruling about shelters and housing, not an acknowledgment of some sort of right to live on public land.”

    These two statements appear to be contradictory.

    Because the city is responsible for providing them with shelter, they can’t be removed from public land–how is that not acknowledging a right to live on public land courtesy of the taxpayer?

    1. Can’t block people from public land *generally* without provision of *specific* public land for homeless housing.

      1. I wonder what portion of Idaho, or Boise law was used as a basis for the idea that Boise is required to divide these people housing.

  6. Are the bums from California?

    Montana had a problem with an infestation of Californians at one point. They supposedly extended the hunting season for Californians through February, and I understand it helped.

    1. There have been some articles recently about how Boise has become something of a colony for Silicon Valley; California tech contractors have moved there in droves the past few years because the cost of living is so much lower, but are actually employed by California firms.

      The result has been all the social and economic dislocation one might expect from an invasion of California locusts, especially ones from the tech industry. The cost of living, particularly housing, has skyrocketed, Boise has taken a hard-left turn in the past five years or so, and the more conservative residents of the state are starting to push back with proposals designed to make it as uncomfortable as possible for California migrants to live there.

      1. If the Libtards could get 1/2 the population of CA to move to ID, WY, AZ, MT, ND, SD, UT, CO, NE, KS and OK they would own the west electoral votes and still control CA. Imagine that.

        1. Same with immigrants.

      2. I almost moved to Boise and ended up back home in California instead in the much more conservative State of Jefferson part.

        1. Good luck with the secession, we’re rooting for you.

  7. JFree should be here any minute to let us know that letting hobovilles crop up in your neighborhood is perfectly acceptable if those cities aren’t going to provide a bunch of mentally ill addicts with well-kept housing.

    1. What would you do with mentally ill homeless people? Actually, don’t answer that. I am afraid to hear about your solution.

      1. It would be a final solution.

      2. “What would you do with mentally ill homeless people? Actually, don’t answer that. I am afraid to hear about your solution.”

        Please quit posting bullshit; I’m tired of reading it.

      3. I already posted that in the article on California’s homeless problem

      4. Well Chip, you certainly have no solutions. You just expect us to to tolerate an unlimited amount of obtrusive, dangerous behavior from these people.

        We should move them in with you.

    2. The city doesn’t even need to provide housing; it just needs to release its collective sphincter enough to allow private citizens to build things for them.

      1. So instead of having them on the sidewalk and in the lark, you’re going to put them in suburban neighborhoods? You do understand that their lack of a residue isn’t the core problem, right?

        It’s a symptom.

        1. ‘Residence’

      2. The picture pretty much shows the revealed preference re housing at that lowest rung.

        Tents. Free from zoning restrictions and the NIMBY HoA sort of crap.

        This ain’t about ‘construction’. It is about LAND.

        1. Now I certainly agree that there are steps a bit further up the housing ladder than tents. Tiny houses. SRO’s. etc. But like any actual competitive market – there is gonna be a price/quality constraint/tradeoff in order to entice people upwards. ie tiny house costs X/mo. Or SRO costs X/night. But eliminating the ‘tent costs nothing’ option from ANY land equals the powerful trying to eliminate an actual free competitive market via government intrusion. While all the time bitching and moaning about how govt is really actually on the side of the powerless and poor.

    3. I have no idea what you mean by ‘well-kept housing’ though I suspect it is just the strawman of mine living rent-free in your brain. BTW – that squatting strawman is eating all your brains and just leaving shit behind.

      I don’t see what you find so offensive about the notion that communities/cities should take care of their own problems and should not have to endure the musical chairs BS of being the only chair remaining when other communities/cities FAIL to deal with their own problems and NIMBY their problems onto others.

      The mentally ill and addicted and for that matter veterans struggling with demons come from EVERYWHERE. Your freeloader propertarian FYTW vision of the world is appalling. And you wonder why others want to turn that FYTW attitude back on you?

  8. I ran into this problem while thinking what a government is good for. If you think of the “natural state of man”, it’s hunter-forager. Farming requires civilization of some sort, some kind of collective to delineate property to defend from foragers. All those people whining that food and shelter are basic human rights are wrong; it’s access to food that counts, and nothing else.

    But when all land is divided into private property, there no longer is any land for hunter-foragers. People no longer have access to find food.

    I didn’t quite conclude that providing public land is the one indispensable use for government. But right now, people can live in a national forest as long as they stay hidden from rangers. They can sleep on the ground or in trees, pick wild berries and fruit, catch small critters. That seems right to me. They don’t get free food, free medical care, free housing, other than what nature itself provides.

    One rebuttal is that these hunter-forager bums are free to get a job like everybody else. But that requires them to be part of society, and that requires coercion of a sort. Seems to me people should be free to live “back to nature”, as long as they understand that anything beyond hunting and foraging requires joining society.

    1. ” But right now, people can live in a national forest as long as they stay hidden from rangers. They can sleep on the ground or in trees, pick wild berries and fruit, catch small critters. That seems right to me. ”

      This shouldn’t surprise you, but far more people live such a life-style in urban places. They call themselves ‘freegans,’ and subsist by ‘dumpster-diving,’ raiding and subsisting off the refuse of normal people. It’s not just people, either. Traditionally forest dwelling creatures such as skunks, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, squirrels, deers etc are also finding the wealth of refuse left behind by normal city dwellers too irresistible and have left their leafy homes in our beautiful forests and adapted to the bright lights of the city.

    2. If only someone would bravely argue for the right to gambol.

      1. Officer, am I free to gambol across the fields and plains?

    3. Yeah, but the problem is that a lot of those people are mentally ill, and really aren’t capable of joining society.

      While I certainly don’t believe in a “right” to food and shelter, the fact is that you’re talking about people who are incapable of taking care of themselves. And they exist in sufficient numbers to constitute a public nuisance, so obviously this constitutes a public problem.

      Perhaps the state mental hospitals were the best way to deal with them. Yeah, the involuntary commitment laws were not infrequently abused, but how much worse was that arrangement compared to dumping them out in the streets? At least they had a warm place to sleep and got three squares a day.

      1. “Yeah, but the problem is that a lot of those people are mentally ill, and really aren’t capable of joining society.”

        I think you need to provide a cite for that claim. Are there that many more ‘mentally ill’ people now than there used to be?
        I’m calling BS.

        1. Where did I say there were more of them? I simply pointed out that in earlier times, we institutionalized them. Now we don’t, so now you get to enjoy them shitting on the sidewalks. Not humane to them or to us.

          1. “Where did I say there were more of them? I simply pointed out that in earlier times, we institutionalized them.”

            Please cite how many *were* institutionalized. I’m calling BS

            1. He’s probably referring to when Regan de-institutionalized them.

              Whether or not they are capable of independent living depends entirely on what is meant by “independent” and “living”. Very few people want to forage in the woods. But very few people actually want to take the trouble to live independently; see “I, Pencil”.

              Civilization turns some independent people into basket cases. They’d get by as well as anyone else in a hunter-foraging society; not so well when society puts rules in their way. Those “freegans”, for instance, are living more independently than most people, by some measure. They will die young. They aren’t productive by society’s terms. But does it make them happier to institutionalize them for long healthy lives that they can’t understand?

              Nannies come down on the side of forcibly civilizing them. Me, I think about all I would want to do is give them food and provide shelter if they want it, and leave it to property owners to herd them off if they want. I think it’s incredibly arrogant to forcibly herd them into homeless shelters or mental hospitals.

              1. “He’s probably referring to when Regan de-institutionalized them.”

                That bit of myth has been repeated often enough that even sensible people think it’s true; it isn’t:
                “Dr. Robert H. Felix, who was then director of the National Institute of Mental Health and a major figure in the shift to community centers, says now on reflection: ”Many of those patients who left the state hospitals never should have done so. We psychiatrists saw too much of the old snake pit, saw too many people who shouldn’t have been there and we overreacted. The result is not what we intended, and perhaps we didn’t ask the questions that should have been asked when developing a new concept, but psychiatrists are human, too, and we tried our damnedest.”…”

    4. “…Seems to me people should be free to live “back to nature”, as long as they understand that anything beyond hunting and foraging requires joining society.”

      As you mention above, that option exists; dodging the rangers is no different than dodging predators (human included) in pre-civilized cultures. Any gripe that ‘they’ won’t let you live there is asking for protection you have chosen to relinquish.
      Want the benefits of civilization? Get a job.

      1. Exactly. There are plenty of charities for people who simply can’t get or hold a job; but they don’t have a right to it. I know the SF homeless “union” or whatever it is once sneered at homeless shelters as degrading; they were humans, dammit, and deserved houses!

        Fuck them.

        Anyway, my original point was that when government no longer owns any public land, there’s only private property to trespass upon; and when government decides to stop providing places for these hermits to hunt and forage, it provides a ready excuse for those who want taxpayers to up the ante. Like universal healthcare, suddenly the government has a real incentive to butt into people’s lives.

    5. This was actually what the feudal precursor to ‘property tax’ attempted to solve.

      It was called quit-rent and was basically seen as an annual payment to the sovereign for the sovereign to protect your granted monopoly and your ability to exclude others from that land. Technically it wasn’t usually a ‘tax’ in the truest sense. Fail to pay and the land isn’t actually taken from you by the sovereign.

      More like the sovereign would just ignore your claims about said land, enforce the natural rights of his subjects to forage and gather and etc. (hunting was specifically handled by a ‘right of the forest’ since deer were deemed the sovereign’s personal property). And presumably if the sovereign was low on money – well they might just be inclined to accept a quit-rent payment from a higher bidder who actually pays it – and then let you two fight it out as to who actually owns.

  9. “resistance from within neighborhoods themselves have made it nearly impossible, ”

    “Hi, we’re bleeding heart liberals and progressives who say that being homeless is not a crime and we should spend as much money on getting them all a home of their own, but not in my neighborhood.”

    1. “Or with my money. WE need to fix this, and by ‘we’ I mean all of you!”

  10. I think a sprinkling of homeless people in a neighborhood would be an excellent way of keeping housing and property values from rising too high. Free of cheap land ($US20 for Manhattan) is what made the country great.

    1. I know you’re full of shit.

      1. Would you like it ‘homeless’ style?

        1. I’m sure that made sense to you. And you alone.

  11. So, let me get this straight? If you are homeless now and on the street with a tent you can stay or use any public space?

    If i were one of those people with tents, I’d move to the NICEST public space I could find…regardless if there were NIMBY’s near or not.

    1. What have you got against tents?

      1. Nothing. I’m saying they should move from concrete walkways to nice public parks.

    2. I thought libertarians were opposed to zoning laws. This complaining about tents stinks of zoning snobbery.

      1. Defending people living in tents making streets unsafe and unpassable while shitting all over the place is just one example of why everyone hate’s libertarians. Libertarians don’t love freedom. They love fucking bums. God Libertarians love bums.

        1. Those must be clown strawmen, because I don’t see how else you could have stuffed so many into your clown car of a comment.

          1. “Those must be clown strawmen, because I don’t see how else you could have stuffed so many into your clown car of a comment.”

            Do you have more bullshit to offer, or are we to believe that’s the best you’ve got?
            Fuck off and die.

            1. You are becoming more lame than Tulpa, old man. Go yell at some clouds.

              1. Chipper Morning Wood
                December.17.2019 at 3:52 pm

                “You are becoming more lame than Tulpa, old man. Go yell at some clouds.”

                You are a pathetic piece of shit. Fuck off and die.

      2. “I thought libertarians were opposed to zoning laws. This complaining about tents stinks of zoning snobbery.”

        I thought you should post something other than bullshit. I was wrong.

      3. Without zoning laws and other restrictions, someone could buy a lot and charge a small fee for a space to pitch a tent on. You could even add access to a Porta Potty. If you kept the fee low enough to pay with a day’s beggings, you’d probably get lots of “campers” in places where camping on the streets or in parks was prohibited and enforced.

        1. Its amusing you think enough people would do this to make a difference.

          You still have the same problem where you eventually run out of space and the people who would do something like this charity enterprise (because it would be) would be done through a collective anyway because its financial suicide to do it any other way.

          Eventually, you might even end up with serially cheap old fogies wanting to camp at your place because it’s cheap (not that they can’t afford better), driving the prices of other camping lots serially down until they can’t afford to pay anyone.

          Basically, Walmart… for camping sites.

          1. the people who would do something like this charity enterprise

            That would not be a charity enterprise even if it is slumlord enterprise. Median residential lot size varies widely throughout the country – from 0.15 acres (6550 sq ft) on Pacific coast to 0.51 acres (22,100 sq ft) in New England.

            So say Pac coast – I see a ‘6 person’ Coleman camping tent online with a 90 sq ft footprint for $100. Even if you assume 50% of the space has to be set aside as ‘internal street’ and ‘common space’ so people can get to/from everywhere, that’s 36 ‘families’ that can be slept every night. At $10/night that’s $131,500 revenue just for the sleeping space. With maybe 2700 sq ft left for a building with bathrooms, showers, kitchen, storage, dining, and a living/conversing space. Which could almost certainly generate another $130,000 per year. For the customer, $20/night rent expenses equals $7300/year so even a single minwage job for that ‘family’ allows for $3600 in

            The economics change a bit for single occupancy space (which is obviously the overwhelming majority of likely demand at that level of housing). But anyone who thinks this is charity obviously doesn’t realize there are a ton of entrepreneurs in the US whose business brings in less than $260,000 per year – with far less than that in capital investment.

            I’d love to see some entrepreneur do this in Palo Alto or such – esp some old-time landowner who gets all the Prop13 benefits – just to watch those constipated heads explode. WTF do you mean all these people have Palo Alto addresses in my fucking neighborhood and all their rugrats are filling up my school system and the guy doesn’t even pay taxes. Splutter splutter splutter.

        2. This 100%.

          And if we actually did prop/land taxes right to pay for the NIMBY stuff – then those landowners who don’t want that stuff nearby in their vision would PAY for govt to enforce that ‘service’ against non-housed people – and for govt to deny that money-earning opportunity to an alternative landowner.

          Basically this was the economics behind George’s ideas. A regularish auction of raw land – usus and fructus and the resale/transfer part of abusus but not the full abusus – rights to the highest bidder (whoever makes the highest offer for whatever term of that offer). And zero taxes on whatever that raw land owner does to improve the land and figure out how to pay whatever they are paying for the land tax.

      4. It won’t snobbery to object a sal group of people monopolizing the public space in such a disgusting, unsanitary and unsafe manner.

    3. Your evaluation, as a homeless person, of what was the “nicest” public space would likely not match your evaluation, now, as a comfortably housed person. You’d probably be looking for a place where people would not harass you, first of all. A place that might have public restrooms nearby. One where you could stash your stuff without obstructing people using the sidewalk. That means either a wide sidewalk (which you would use the edge of) near a park, or in the park itself.

      1. Sure, but what I’m saying is that this decision probably opens up a LOT more spaces for them to move to. Many more options.

        1. Homeless people don’t want to go anywhere here they are expected to live by rules like the rest of us. Instead, the want to be able to take massive amounts of drugs in public then act in any way they choose, including wandering out into the road, threatening people who refuse to give them money, and pissing and shitting everywhere.

  12. Dear Californians,

    Garcetti and Newsom are incompetent buffoons who can’t even solve problems when their coffers are flush with cash. Gullible voters who were foolish enough to believe their promises and trust their ability are useful idiots; sheep who keep getting sheared.

    If you vote for a liberal after this abject liberal policy failure, you are a fool, a rube and beyond salvation.

  13. Most of the “homeless” wouldn’t live in luxury housing if they were charged a dollar a month for it. They don’t want to work, and emphatically resist participating in the Left’s “aid” programs that set them up with housing and a job.

    The implication here is that municipalities are required to provide theoretically unlimited free housing.

    AOC should be very proud – a significant item from the Green New Deal has just been enacted by activist judges!

  14. If a homeless person set up camp on the sidewalk in front of your home or business, what would YOU do?

    1. If your neighbor put up a tent on his front lawn, and let a homeless person live there, what would YOU do?

      1. Why wouldn’t the bleeding heart neighbor just invite the homeless guy into his house?
        Win win for everyone, especially when the neighbor is eventually carried out in a body bag..

      2. Throw a fire bomb into the tent and hope it burned the neighbor’s house too.

        If I came and took a shit in front of your house every day what would you do? Oh yeah, you would think it was great because you are a Libertarian.

        1. Why are you always so quick to promote violence and destruction of private property when something doesn’t agree with you?

          1. “Why are you always so quick to promote violence and destruction of private property when something doesn’t agree with you?”

            Why are you always so quick to post bullshit?

            1. Yet you fail to see the analogy between your uninvited crazy attacks and replies to my comments and a homeless person’s tent on public property.

              1. “Yet you fail to see the analogy between your uninvited crazy attacks and replies to my comments and a homeless person’s tent on public property.”

                More bullshit?

          2. Is defecation destruction? Because if that’s the case you’re making the case to lock the homeless up

      3. “If your neighbor put up a tent on his front lawn, and let a homeless person live there, what would YOU do?”

        If you were ass fucking stupid as this, what would you do? Commit suicide, I hope.

      4. Tell you to keep your pet leashed up in the backyard where it belongs so it doesn’t crap all over my lawn.

      5. In libertarian world, HOAs would take my neighbor’s house away and he can live in a tent with his buddy.

    2. I’d pay him to set up camp in front of YOUR home and business. Or just call the cops.

      1. Calling the cops would do no good if you were in California. And if you asked the guy to leave, you would end up in jail.

        Welcome to libertopia.

    3. I would call the cops, and they would tell them to strike camp and move along, and if they refused, they would be arrested and their tent would go in the dumpster. But then, I live in a community with a functioning municipal government.

  15. Tiny Homes. Cheap and don’t need much land.

    1. That is an option. The problem with providing free housing to mentally ill homeless is that they would thoroughly trash it in no time at all.

      1. When they did that, lock them up. What other option is there?

        1. For breaking what law? The places would be thrashed through simple neglect, not necessarily intentional destruction.

          1. More than people know.

            I have a friend that does facility maintenance for an agency that does housing for them mentally ill. Some of the clients wear helmets. He says they are always fixing the housing that gets trashed. They are not capable of treating things nicely. They don’t mean to trash it per se. As functioning adults we take that for granted.

            1. There are no easy answers here. Clearly some compassion is called for, and we should be able to fund taking care of these people without bringing coercion into it.

              1. “There are no easy answers here.”

                Less imbecility would help; fuck off.

              2. You can fund as much as you want to, it’s not going to help. The problem isn’t a lack of money.

                You know what would be a solution? Privatize the roads and let the owners enforce their property rights. That’s likely what’s going to happen anyway: HOAs and malls.

              3. There are times when a bullet in the head is the most compassionate act.

              4. What about the coercion you’re bringing into it by forcing people to fund it?

                Seattle spends $100k per homeless person per year. Compassion is all used up.

              5. we could treat them like liberals treat the unborn?

              6. It’s funny to listen to liberals talk about “compassion” when one of their favorite things in the world is abortion.

          2. They break all kinds of laws because the are it of their fucking minds and frequently on fast drugs. They do destructive violent things.

            Chip, I know you’re an idiot, but how are you this obtuse? Are you not exposed to these people?

      2. So? The average tiny home costs in the range of $10K – $30K to build, and it’s possible to build one for under $1K. With government backing for tiny homes as homeless shelter, they could be mass produced pre-fab style which would yield economies of scale for the production.

        If some one trashes one, just tear it down and build another.

        Even if some percentage of them get trashed periodically, it’s probably still cheaper than traditional homeless shelters.

        It’s certainly cheaper than regularly rousting them from wherever and jailing them.

    2. Tiny teepees. Heap big savings.

      1. Did you steal that from Warren?

        1. Warren stole it from some real Indians.

          1. I didn’t realize that they built teepees in India. 🙂

    3. Tiny homes are neither cheap nor an effective use of space. The cheapest housing is Soviet style concrete construction, with 200 sq ft apartments, or residential hotel style housing with small bedrooms and shared bathrooms.

      1. We call those prisons.

        1. No we don’t. A prison is a place where you are locked up against your will. And prisons are built to much higher standards than cheap Soviet style housing.

        2. More like we call it slum housing.

      2. We tried that in the 60s and 70s, and it was a nightmare. Ever seen “Candyman”?

      3. Not as efficient as the pod buildings in China, the bugman’s garden of Eden.

      4. This same thought was on my mind. Tiny homes are not a cheap alternative housing option for large numbers of people, and they do not stand up to any abuse at all. Concrete apartments are, OTOH a cheap solution that can withstand a little abuse at least.

        But then you’re “building prisons” for the mentally unstable. Which is going to cause people to freak out, even though that is exactly what society should be doing.

    4. Work. Even cheaper and no land at all.

  16. they can’t use the law to try to run their homeless population out of town—the only way out is to build.

    Can they use the law to require their homeless population to provide the labor?

  17. JFree should be here any minute to let us know that letting hobovilles crop up in your neighborhood is perfectly acceptable if those cities aren’t going to provide a bunch of mentally ill addicts with well-kept housing.
    زوج درمانی قطعی

    1. Fucking LOL when even the spambot is dunking on this guy.

  18. “ When Shelters Are Full, Can Cities Herd Homeless People Into Jails?”

    No, but they should be able to herd them into jail for violating the law, like making a public nuisance of themselves or interfering with tax paying businesses.

    How about cities provide a few acres of vacant land on the outskirts for “campers”?

    1. “How about cities provide a few acres of vacant land on the outskirts for “campers”?”

      Cities = taxpayers. No.
      Wanna live in the wild? Go find a wild place. Want the benefits of civilization? Get civilized.

      1. I’m not saying that it’s the right solution, I’m saying that it is a solution that should satisfy the absurd legal system as it is right now. A city can reasonably say: look, we aren’t throwing them into jail, we are simply moving them from one encampment to another.

        The libertarian solution is to privatize the roads, at which point this becomes a property rights issue. Not a lot of homeless encampments in HOAs and malls.

        1. Yeah we’ve literally got the 9th circuit saying you can’t move homeless people from their tents in prime locations unless you’ve got enough beds for everyone. So recognize that the perfect libertarian solution ain’t happening anytime soon and put shelters on the edge of town.

          Where sevo and I live in SF it’s a little tougher because there isn’t your traditional edge of town. Maybe the solution in that kind of case, assuming a city not run by absolute psycopaths, is to contract with a less-populated neighboring city.

    2. How about cities provide a few acres of vacant land on the outskirts for “campers”?

      This is essentially what Oakland and Berkeley are doing right now, although lacking true “outskirts” (rather than borders with neighboring sprawl) they allow encampments at freeway onramps and under overpasses in warehouse districts.

      The problem is that as these camps get dense, they fill up with human waste and used drug paraphernalia, are prone to deadly fires, and tend to become hotbeds of rape and other violent crime in addition to being spectacular incubators for all kinds of exotic diseases.

      1. so a more drastic version of the ghettos that they already create?

        1. Drastic areas that are barred by law from being cleared.

    3. You mean concentrate the homeless population in some kind of camp? The left would surely approve

  19. LA and SF has a serious homeless problem.
    My solution is to let them live in Maxine Waters’ and Nancy Pelosi’s mansions until suitable housing is available to the.
    After all, both of these women are compassionate, liberal, tolerant and giving individuals because they said so many times over.

    1. “both of these women are compassionate, liberal, tolerant and giving individuals”

      You misspelled “raving lunatic bitches”.

  20. Homeless people should be enserfed.

  21. This is not nearly as complicated as it is presented.
    We have pretty much two populations living at the expense of the rest of us:
    1) Those mentally incapable of doing otherwise.
    2) Those who are parasites.
    The first priority is separating one from the other; no money spent on ‘navigation centers’, free housing, tents, or anything else before we set up triage. Living in SF and dealing with bums on a regular basis, it seems #1 is a small minority.
    Population #1 gets support, and there is little reason to assume that the support cannot be voluntary (charities).
    #2 gets nothing. No food, no housing, no space on sidewalks to set up a tent, nothing. Want the benefits of civilization? Get civilized.

  22. The court is attempting to establish two classes of people for whom laws apply differently.

    We already know what the consequences of that have been: Miles of tents on sidewalks, overpasses, public parks and buildings, with all of the requisite public health and criminal awfulness that follows that.

    So just keep going.

    1. It’s important to remember that this is how we got here in the first place. All of these cities, I’d suspect exactly 100% of them had public camping ordinances in place, probably for decades, likely for over a century in many places.

      They chose not to enforce them.

      As a result of that lack of enforcement, they found themselves the place they’re in now, tents by the hundreds (and in some cases by the thousands) all over their city. Realizing they had a public health hazard on their hands, now a “sweep” becomes a major, disruptive event. If I plopped a tent out in front of my house it would probably moved within a few hours, and there would be no ACLU lawyer stopping the process. Probably for two reasons: 1. I’m not “homeless” and B, I’m not in an ‘established’ camp. And that part B is an important one. That became the metric in Seattle for a set of new processes to remove homeless people from illegally camping: an ‘established’ encampment.

      You can imagine exactly how fun that debate was over how to define an “established” encampment.

    2. The last piece of this puzzle is not only have the cities “decriminalized” public camping, but they’ve also decriminalized all the ancillary behaviors that tend to come with it, including but not limited to public defecation, assault AND battery, littering, property destruction, theft and burglary.

      If this were ONLY a question about public camping, this issue would be simpler to address. Or perhaps I should say the policy of allowing public camping would be easier to defend.

  23. There’s no circuit split yet, so no Supreme Court review.

    With that said, the idea of generally applicable laws not applying to the poor is beyond stupid.

    You have a natural right to life.
    You don’t have a right to live *in Boise*.

    There are miles and miles of BLM & USFS land wherein someone can camp and *never* be hassled by law enforcement….

    But of course, there are no public services – and less easy access to booze/recreational drugs/etc, stores to rob & responsible citizens to panhandle – in those places…. Which is why the homeless are camping on the streets of places like Olympia, WA rather than the nearby (but isolated) Capitol Forest…..

    1. The award for “Most intelligent post in the thread.” goes to Dave_A.

    2. If they lived off the land in the forest they would soon realize they are not addicted and could live a clean life but that is not their goal. we have placated them to the point where homelessness is now a valid life choice.

      1. And they’d have a chance to become pals with Grizzly Bear and Steve Smith.


  24. Liberals are a funny group. They love killing unborn babies but won’t do the same thing with the homeless. Maybe because they homeless might be able to defend themselves?

    “First Amendment is first for a reason. Second Amendment is there in case the first doesn’t work.” Dave Chapelle

  25. since when is it teh cities responsibility to provide shelter and since when is not the cities right to have no loitering laws on land our tax dollars pay for. I want to walk down the street without getting a new disease and be able to have a clean store front for paying customers

    1. What if Boise simply told the court and the activists to fuck off?

      1. That would be interesting. Would the governor order the state police to enforce the court decision. If so, how? Would he also arrest the Mayor, City Council, Police Chief, etc. and confine them indefinitely for contempt?

        I don’t think that would be very popular in Idaho.

  26. I really wish the Supremes had made some comment on this. Seems very odd for them to let this stand.

    Did they discover the Lockean Proviso?

    Lockean Proviso

    Nor was this appropriation of any parcel of land, by improving it, any prejudice to any other man, *since there was still enough and as good left*, and more than the yet unprovided could use. So that, in effect, there was never the less left for others because of his enclosure for himself. For he that leaves as much as another can make use of, does as good as take nothing at all. Nobody could think himself injured by the drinking of another man, though he took a good draught, who had a whole river of the same water left him to quench his thirst. And the case of land and water, where there is enough of both, is perfectly the same.
    — Second Treatise of Government, Chapter V, paragraph 33

    1. Thomas Paine analyzes the implications of the violation of the Lockean Proviso in Agrarian Justice.

      It is a position not to be controverted that the earth, in its natural, cultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race. In that state every man would have been born to property. He would have been a joint life proprietor with rest in the property of the soil, and in all its natural productions, vegetable and animal.
      But the earth in its natural state, as before said, is capable of supporting but a small number of inhabitants compared with what it is capable of doing in a cultivated state. And as it is impossible to separate the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, upon which that improvement is made, the idea of landed property arose from that parable connection; but it is nevertheless true, that it is the value of the improvement, only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property.
      Every proprietor, therefore, of cultivated lands, owes to the community a ground-rent (for I know of no better term to express the idea) for the land which he holds; and it is from this ground-rent that the fund proposed in this plan is to issue.

      1. This general idea has been expanded from a libertarian perspective as Geolibertarianism:

  27. I consider myself a libertarian, but this is an example of how our wonderful ideology breaks down in the face of real world events. We would ideally prefer no government restrictions on building, we would ideally prefer open borders, and we would certainly be opposed to government restrictions on reproduction. But cities like LA and SF are bursting at the seams, and new arrivals are pouring in–legal, illegal, and interstate. The infrastructure is cracking, homelessness is soaring, and the prevailing belief is that the homeless have as much right to public places as anyone else. Do we really think that accelerated construction (for people who can’t pay market rate), more new arrivals through open borders or other immigration incentives, and new job creation (for people who aren’t able or interested in working) will solve the problems?

  28. Soo…. Doesn’t this make the Federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act a violation of the 8th Amendment also???

    After all — if criminalizing squatters is “cruel and unusual punishment” isn’t criminalizing cyber-squatting in the same boat.

    “What do you mean I cannot live right-here where I want to”
    “What do you mean I cannot park on this domain if I want to”

    They’re both in the public domain 🙂

  29. Homeless cases should be dealt with under the same trial hearings as self-defense. NOT some self-proclaimed entitlement “right” to squat where-ever one wants to.

    Assuming that ALL squatters are truly homeless victims with absolutely no other option is like assuming all violent death is in self-defense. Is it really a good idea to make such wide-paint brush assumptions based solely on the welfare state?????

    The law that makes killing a crime provides justifiable means for self-defense as such the same law against squatting should provide justifiable means for squatting. BOTH can should be demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt (before a judge) that no-other-option was available.

    It really needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis and not some self-proclaimed “right” Constitutional entitlement.

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  31. There are legitimate reasons a city (or business or individual) would not want homeless people “camping” on their property. One that comes straight to mind is liability. When one of them gets harmed or killed on your property, you may find yourself on the receiving end of litigation. Another is that furnishing space for them will attract more, requiring more space to be furnished. Are we saying a city can’t kick them off of public spaces that are not being used for their intended purpose? If a city cannot do this, why can an individual or other corporation?

  32. Soylent green. send in the scoops.

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  34. After all, if criminalizing squatters is a “cruel and unusual punishment,” illegal cyber-occupation is not being decriminalized on the same ship. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana List.

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