New Missouri Bill Makes Unauthorized Sleeping on State Land a Crime

New Missouri Bill Makes Unauthorized Sleeping on State Land a Crime

(CSU) SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Beginning on January 1st, 2023, a new Missouri law signed last month will prohibit homeless persons from sleeping on state-owned property without permission.

According to the bill, police will approach anyone residing on an unlicensed tract of land and demand that they vacate. If they decline, the police will come back a second time and offer them a shelter, a permitted campsite, or other permitted lodging options. They can be issued a ticket for a class-c misdemeanour if they reject a second time.

Additionally, according to Senator Holly Rehder, the bill’s sponsor, cities with higher-than-average rates of homelessness and that refuse to enforce the ban will experience funding reductions.

Rehder stated, “This is all with 100% positive purpose from the governor as well. Therefore, we want to work, and we want to see people who are doing a wonderful job rewarded. And since what we’re doing isn’t working, we want to encourage those who aren’t seeing positive results to start looking at some of the Missouri communities that are performing better to start using this alternative model. You see, we want to go beyond simply providing housing for people and assist them in developing self-reliance.

Some advocates for the homeless claim that the new law essentially criminalises homelessness, giving rise to controversy. Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ Michelle Garand says she is concerned about losing funds.

“Our neighbourhood stands to lose a considerable sum of money.” All of that goes to our housing and shelter operators, she said. What funds actually are at risk is unknown. We want the governor’s office to be more specific. However, even the sum of money we think is real may be substantial.

According to Senator Rehder, a strategy will be developed prior to the new law’s adoption in January even if there isn’t a firm plan in place at the moment.

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