NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 19, 2006

Sarasota is one mean city, according to the Washington-based National Coalition for the Homeless. The advocacy group says the south Florida city is the meanest in the country in its treatment of the homeless.


  • Sarasota earned this distinction because it prohibits vagrants from camping out on public property.
  • Atlanta made the list because it banned panhandling downtown.
  • And Phoenix made the list even though it's building a $24 million "homeless campus."

Apparently a city's shelters, free-meal kitchens and social service programs mean little to this coalition, which pounds on cities to motivate a public response to homelessness, says the Tampa Tribune.

A better way to encourage public support for combating homelessness would be to track a community's success in coordinating efforts among churches, nonprofits and government agencies. That's a list that would motivate cities, not disparage them, says the Tribune.

Source: Editorial, "Homeless Group Wrong To Call Names," Tampa Tribune, January 19, 2006; and "A Dream Denied: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities," National Coalition for the Homeless and National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, January 2006.


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