Across West Virginia and the country, government officials are attacking visible poverty. The problem? They’re only attacking the “visible” part.  

Measures criminalizing the homelessness we see in public have soared in recent years, with West Virginia cities like Wheeling and Parkersburg adopting ordinances that punish people with jail time for sleeping outside, and Charleston arresting people for existing in public parks after hours.  

These laws do nothing to address the root causes of poverty, and actually exacerbate the very problems they claim to fix. If you’re destitute, how in the world will fines, court fees, and a criminal charge on your record help you get back on your feet?  

Read the rest of this piece in West Virginia Watch.