The purpose of this essay is to address discrimination against homeless people. First of all, the theory of intersectionality will be explained and then applied as a method of analysis. The complexity of defining homelessness will be tackled, focusing on the difficulties encountered when approaching this concept. I will discuss notions of protected ground and immutability of personal characteristics, then outline an intersectional approach to homelessness. Intersectional discrimination has not yet been applied by many courts and tribunals, but Canada has proven to be a vanguard in this area. For this reason, Canadian case law has been chosen as the main example in this research. I will explore stereotyping, prejudices, and social profiling in connection to homelessness. In addition, I will touch on a peculiar aspect of homelessness that is concerned with the representation of different minority groups (such as race, mentally-ill and so on) within the homeless population. Different laws and other legal sources concerned with criminalizing specific conducts against public order will be analyzed applying the outlined intersectional method. Specifically this work will concentrate on quality of life regulations and anti-homeless regulations. This paper will then establish that homelessness is a ground worthy of protection and then it will argue that the aforementioned kind of legislation results in direct and indirect discrimination. In conclusion, the arguments in favor of including homelessness or social condition as a ground of discrimination will be laid out, with reference to Canadian, European, and international law sources.
Alice Giannini, An Intersectional Approach to Homelessness: Discrimination and Criminalization , 19 Marq, Benefits & Soc. Welfare L. Rev. 27 (2017).