With Public Camping A Felony, Tennessee Homeless Seek Refuge

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A rise in homeless encampments across America has prompted a growing demand for solutions.

Tennessee is about to become the first U.S. state to make it a felony to camp on local public property such as parks.

It is already a felony in Tennessee to camp on most state-owned property.

The crime is punishable by up to six years in prison and the loss of voting rights.

Supporters say the law is needed to get some people to move off the streets.

Critics say it is cruel and will make homelessness worse.

Many landlords won’t rent to felons and many employers won’t hire them.