On any given night, 35,000 people in Canada will be homeless; thousands will have no other option than to live in parks and other public spaces. Despite this reality, many jurisdictions prohibit homeless people from taking basic steps to survive like setting up a tent, tarp, or box. These makeshift shelters do not constitute adequate housing, but as long as people face homelessness, they should not be harassed, ticketed, or displaced by law enforcement just for trying to stay safe.
We are fighting to end the criminalization of homeless people by challenging discriminatory laws and law enforcement practices that violate human rights, perpetuate stigma and prevent homeless people from taking steps to save their own lives. We cannot end homelessness in Canada while treating homeless people as criminals.