Hate Crimes Against the Homeless: America’s Growing Tide of Violence

Hate Crimes Against the Homeless: America’s Growing Tide of Violence

For the past eleven years, the National Coalition for the Homeless has been collecting and reporting on the data surrounding violence perpetrated against homeless individuals. This annual report provides a look into the social injustices individuals experiencing homelessness face and use this to provide strategies to initiate social change.

Hate Crimes Against the Homeless: America’s Growing Tide of Violence is a shocking report on the growth of biased motivated crimes of hate against America’s homeless. The National Coalition for the Homeless’ report marks the beginning of its second decade tracking, interviewing and classifying thousands of individuals impacted by homeless hate crimes.

This years’ report has the horrifying distinction of being the deadliest, at 43 reported homicides. The research contained in this report chronicles more than a thousand separate attacks across the US, representing a fraction of the total hate crimes that remain drastically underreported.

Individuals who commit homeless hate crimes are motivated primarily by a bias that another individual is or may be homeless. Perpetrators often give account to feelings of hostility and animosity, towards the visibly homeless, so strong they demand action. While others describe a generalized hatred, passed down from one generation to the next, resulting in a growing epidemic of violence across America.

Documented hate crimes in this report involve: dosing with gasoline and setting aflame; rape in exchange for shelter; spay painting and stomping upon while sleeping; and, repeated incidence of gang initiations involving stabbings and beatings. “On behalf of any and every victim of biased motivated crime, we must remain committed to the cause of justice, honest stewards of truth and capable recorders of the endless narrative of hate.” said Neil Donovan, NCH Executive Director.     

Un-housed individuals, as a target of hate, have consistently grown over the past decade. This year’s report draws an especially gruesome and disturbing trend in the frequency and manner of the offenses. Violent, often fatal, attacks on homeless Americans now outnumber all other categories of hate crimes combined.

The National Coalition for the Homeless has successfully advanced its legislative agenda on hate crimes, both at the state and federal levels. Our objective is to place the responsibility of tracking statistics on hate crimes against the homeless into the hands of local and national law enforcement. Our goal is to further legitimate our analysis and quantify the growing epidemic of violence against the homeless, ultimately resulting in sufficient resources to solve the problem and create the solutions. (Neil J. Donovan, Exectutive Director, NCH)

ORGANIZATION: National Coalition for the Homeless
LOCATION: United States