More U.S. Cities Have Made it Illegal to Be Homeless. 53% of cities make it illegal to sit or lie down in public, a 43% increase since 2011. All of these laws are being enacted, although many homeless people have no alternatives. It's estimated that a minimum of 553,742 people are homeless in the United States. While about 17 million housing units are empty in the United States. This problem will only be growing as more people struggle to pay bills during a global pandemic. Poverty has become a crime while wealth hoarding is being valorized as moral. This is what the rich have done to the world. This is what the rich have done with gentrification. This is what the Rich did to my state of Colorado!