UPDATE: On April 13, 2021, this bill failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
(Last updated January 24, 2022. Current bill status is available here.)
SB 1610/HB 978 would expand Tennessee’s current ban on “camping” from state-owned property to all public property, including that owned by local governments. This bill would make it a felony for a homeless person to simply sleep on public property.
Already, unhoused people cannot sleep on private property or state property without violating existing law. If this proposed legislation passes and homeless people are barred from sleeping on locally owned property as well, then people who cannot find shelter cannot sleep without breaking the law.