Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Services

First Advisor

Diane Nelson

Second Advisor

Pat Eliasen


This paper aims to explain how law enforcement locally and nationally are policing those experiencing homelessness. This paper will be taking a look at historical and current data as it relates to those experiencing homelessness, look at some of the predicators that may lead to homelessness, and evaluate how law enforcement agencies are making decisions as it relates to policing this ever-growing community. As it relates to their interactions with those experiencing homelessness, case law, process, and executive orders are all elements that law enforcement must stay apprised of. A few cases that are starting to provide guidance will be discussed in this paper. There are no doubt ethical dilemmas faced by law enforcement and other stakeholders as it relates to seeking solutions for the challenges presented by those experiencing homelessness. A few of those will be discussed and analyzed. Lastly, as cities and law enforcement agencies start navigating how to best approach working with those experiencing homelessness or struggling with addiction, a potential model policy will be presented.