Urban Fold

Rules Limiting Activities In Public Spaces Target Homeless

Broad regulations have been approved in Berkeley, California, that would ban certain activities in public spaces, such as laying on the ground and urinating. This set of rules seeks to impose greater control over the city's homeless population.

"The initiative cracks down on a wide range of behavior that some say make Berkeley's streets inhospitable to residents and visitors alike. Among the activities that will be banned are smoking near buildings in commercial areas, lying on the sidewalk, public urination and defecation, drinking in public, possessing a shopping cart and shouting in public."

"The Public Commons for Everyone Initiative passed 9-0 after months of debate among the council, homeless advocates, merchants and residents."

"While Berkeley has an array of services for its 800 or so homeless people, many refuse to participate or are not reached by social workers. The initiative is meant to force this group into counseling and rehabilitation through the criminal justice and social service systems."

Full Story: Berkeley city council OKs street plan

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