Law Enforcement & Homelessness: Forging Fruitful Partnerships


People experiencing homelessness often have nowhere to sleep or spend their time other than public spaces, such as parks and sidewalks. But metropolitan regulations often prohibit acts housed people can safely perform indoors, such as sleeping or resting. Moreover, living their complicated lives in view of the public can lead to disturbances. This confluence of traits means that law enforcement is often the de facto liaison to their homeless communities.

This relationship is sometimes contentious and challenging for officers not trained in crisis de-escalation, and leads to fines, fees, jail time, and worse for people without homes, and ultimately perpetuates the cycle of homelessness.

Through this webinar, we will provide an introduction to the causes of homelessness and its rise across the United States, highlight one city doing promising work in this area, and offer recommendations for communities to collaborate between law enforcement and service providers.

In addition to the national perspective of two leading advocacy organizations, the presentation will highlight the unique experience of a former police officer who now provides legal services for people without homes.

*This webinar is made possible through private contributions to the Council.


  • Jeff Yungman, JD, MSW, MPH, Director of Legal Services, One80 Place, Charleston, SC
  • Eric Tars, JD, Senior Attorney, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, Washington, DC
  • D. Michael Durham, MTS, Technical Assistance Manager, NHCHC, Nashville, TN
Categories: Healthcare and Homelessness Partnerships, Justice, Equity, Diversion, and Inclusion (JEDI), Policy and Advocacy, Social Determinants of Health, Street Medicine, Street Outreach
Tags: Webinar
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