Homeless encampments have been growing by leaps and bounds these past several years.
Many states have taken a blind eye to them and others (predominantly liberal states) have even encouraged them. People are getting fed up with these eyesores and the crime they bring.
There are some that are taking action to try to eliminate them. Tennessee is one of them. They just passed a law making unauthorized camping a felony.
From RV Travel:
Tennessee is poised to become the first state to make unauthorized camping on public lands a felony.
The move is intended to cut into the rising tide of homeless camping on public property, including parks and highways. The Tennessee Senate voted 20-10 in April to advance the camping felony bill. The Tennessee House passed a version of the new law last year.
Public pressure to do something about the increasing number of highly visible homeless encampments has pushed even many traditionally liberal cities in the U.S. to clear them out. Although camping has generally been regulated by local vagrancy laws, Texas passed a statewide ban last year. Municipalities that fail to enforce the ban risk losing state funding. Several other states have introduced similar bills, but Tennessee is the only one to make camping a felony.
Hopefully, these kinds of laws won't affect travelers who stop for a night's rest at rest areas or even truck stops/travel centers or boondocking.
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