Opinion: The Trinity Bellwoods crackdown was not surprising — but there is a better way to respond to encampments

Security and police try to prevent supporters from entering a homeless encampment as the camp's occupants await possible eviction by police after workers enclosed the area with a fence, at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto, June 22, 2021.

"As researchers of policing and homelessness, we have seen an unmistakable rise in homeless sweeps and encampment crackdowns since the late 1990s. This response to visible poverty results from a collision of forces, both in Canada and the United States: the decline of affordable housing and mental-health services, and local governments’ desires to revitalize business districts, boost tourism and attract high-income residents," write Katherine Beckett, professor of sociology and of law, societies and justice at the UW, and Forrest Stuart of Stanford University.

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