Homeless Man Owes Government Over $110,000 In Fines For Being Homeless

untitled-1-e1447894249764By John Vibes

The recent case of a homeless man racking up massive fines has exposed the widespread police practice of fining homeless people for being homeless.

Émilie Guimond-Bélanger, a social worker at the Droits Devant legal clinic in Montreal spoke to the media about a case that she worked on where a homeless man racked up over $110,000 in tickets.

“It was shocking. We’ve never seen someone with so many tickets,” Émilie told CBC.


The man had over 500 tickets, which amounted to over $110,000 in fines. The fines were mostly for things that homeless people can’t control, such as sleeping in the subway or asking people for money.

“He had received around 500 of them [tickets]. I could see that most of the time he would receive many in the same week, sometimes by the same officers as well,” she said.

“It’s very common, to a point where I would say it’s a systematic experience for homeless people,” she added.

On a daily basis, Émilie deals with at least two cases where people owe at least $10,000 for the crime of being homeless.

According to a study published in 2012, the homeless population of Montreal owe over $15 million in fines.

“It’s a huge amount of money that would stress out anyone who has that as a burden. So you can just imagine how it’s difficult for a person to then think about rehabilitation in society when they have such a heavy debt,” she said, “it affects them a lot. Some of them feel like there are good citizens in society — and then there’s them,” Émilie said.

It was recently reported that politicians in Los Angeles are seeking to ban homeless people from sleeping in their cars, and even RVs.

As we reported late last year, Florida police arrested a group of charity workers for breaking a newly-imposed law against feeding the homeless. Among those charged was a 90-year-old homeless advocate.

This article (Homeless Man Owes Government Over $110,000 In Fines For Being Homeless) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com.

John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.

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  • Paladin

    sure the officers are just doing their jobs like the brown shirts did

  • WORMZERJR

    Your birth certificate is an estate. Your government is accessing your estate since you and I were lied to about how the law works. reaperishere.weebly its almost over though

  • Archie1954

    There is no reason to be homeless in Canada! Our safety net is very responsive to such situations and instead of giving homeless people tickets, the authorities should be accompanying them to shelters, where they can sleep indoors. The whole idea of handing out tickets is a throwback to the days when homeless people were called “bums”! Those days should be long gone by now.

    • William Burke

      You must be unaware that many homeless, or not most, avoid homeless shelters because of the prevalence of crimes against one’s person that occurs there: theft of the little personal property they possess, assaults, sexually threatening behavior, etc.

      • Jenjen

        Wouldn’t those same risks exist on the street? At least they’d have shelter…

        • William Burke

          They don’t feel the streets are as dangerous as the shelters. How true this is, I cannot say, as I’ve never been homeless. So far.

          Yes, I think there is a stubbornness factor. They feel they are in better control of their lives on the street. More control of our lives probably appeals to most of us.

          Also remember they can’t be in the shelter from early morning until time for the evening meal, in most cases. Some shelters don’t serve food at all, leaving it up to the “soup kitchens” and organizations such as Food Not Bombs.

          • Jenjen

            Yeah…
            I wasn’t judging, Ive never experienced that, was just wondering.
            My small town thankfully doesn’t have many homeless and the few we do, choose the street. Many have tried to help. Mental illness plays a part. So does addiction. It’s so sad.

            I’m sure when the homeless population is considerable, there are many more issues. And far fewer choices.
            Over this winter I looked for a “soup kitchen” to go volunteer at and found out we don’t have any. we do have food pantries.

          • William Burke

            Yeah, that’s pretty typical of smaller cities and towns. I would not like to be homeless in the town I grew up in.

            But I mean, or course, I wouldn’t like being homeless anywhere. The bigger cities have more options and better facilities, so they’re like magnets to the homeless. You can judge, to an extent, how well a place treats its homeless by how many homeless you see on the streets.

          • Brett

            Start up a kitchen, Jenjen. Could be your calling? Certainly be rewarding. I used to run a mens group. All sorts of blokes shared things they dont like to talk about. It was challenging but rewarding. Then i ended up with a whole heap of s*** of my own to sort out, lol! Now we have have mens sheds all around Australia…

          • Jenjen

            I like that idea… i did plant a huge garden last year. And gave away free veggies from my front yard regularly. :)

      • Archie1954

        You bet I’m unaware of that. I think if such egregious activities are occurring it is outrageous and authorities are derelict in their duty.

  • Bobby Bill

    I cooked for a multi-church homeless outreach in Las Vegas and have hired homeless men over a period of several years. I myself was homeless for several years following my time in the military during Vietnam. I finally got hired by a guy who gave me a chance. I won best employee out of 400 employees (brought in more revenue, received more customer congrats) two years in a row. From there, I went to an international company where I also received commendations for my work. About age 60, the old ticker (heart issues) cost me my commercial license and from there I hired homeless men to do the heavy stuff. There’s a lot to say, not all homeless are there for the same reason nor have the same prospects if they are helped. But fining and jailing them for running out of money is itself a damn crime. Where in the U.S. Constitution did it except from inalienable rights those who run out of money?

    • RJ O’Guillory

      …”where in the U.S. Constitution did it except from inalienable rights those who run out of money?…” Excellent question….
      RJ O’Guillory

    • BOBT12

      I think they are talking about Canada. It’s still a shame, and another example of how governments are turning against the people on a more open basis.

      “Émilie Guimond-Bélanger, a social worker at the Droits Devant legal clinic in Montreal spoke to the media about a case that she worked on where a homeless man racked up over $110,000 in tickets.”

    • Fred Bastiat

      The constitution was never intended to protect the rights of the individual, but to establish the authority of the state. Proof? Look around.

      PS, thanks for sharing your story.

      • freewheelinfranklin543

        Thanks for bein a troll.

        • Fred Bastiat

          He who smelt it dealt it.

      • nathenism

        if that were the case the government wouldn’t have to continually violate it…the constitution was set up to protect us from the government…all their abuses come from violating the constitution, not obeying it…

        • Fred Bastiat

          The government was set up to protect the government and certain elite from us, not the other way around. If the government was established to protect ‘us’, then how do you explain prisons full of people who committed no crime against another person? How do you explain pre-emptive wars we’ve been forced to pay for based on untruths? How do you explain the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy in deals like Solyndra?

          The constitution granted powers that allowed slavery. Those powers were supported by the Supreme Court in decisions so direct they even prescribed that law enforcement had to return slaves to slave owners. I have friends who can speak in far more detail about the specific clauses of the constitution that made sure that it didn’t protect people from government, but made government superior to the rights of people in everything that matters.

          • John C Carleton

            If you want to get right down to it. the constitution does not involve you or me, or in fact, any living person. The constitution is a contract. For any contract to be valid, it must be signed by all parties involved, simply put, if your “wet ink signature”, along with the “wet ink signature” of all involved would have to be on the document. A dead person can not contract for you. When the person dies, that persons contract can not be moved to the next in line. So for the Constitution to be legal and binding, Whoever owns the UNITED STATES CORPORATION, (AND IT IS NOT “the people”), would have to sign in wet ink, and each and every person in the united States, would have to sign the document. Of course if the owners changed, any of the document were changed, (new law), then the entire signing process would have to start all over. After all of that there are other rules that govern contracts which would make the constitution invalid, null and void, such as any contract, in which EVER ASPECT HAS to be completely open and explained, or the contract is null and void. The whole of the US government is a huge mind F##k.

          • Fred Bastiat

            Well said and especially worth noting that no single person today participated in the so called contract. People do love to call it that and yet a contract does need two voluntary parties, otherwise it would be coercive demand – an edict. Every government system is a mind frack, the US Constitution maybe especially so because of the grand illusions of rights so ably made center piece. Dead letter is the term I do feel most aptly applies, since the rights are all immediately dismissed with and overridden. Lewis does a fine job of dissembling the constitution for people on a regular basis, very good reading.

          • John C Carleton

            He is a very educated man who seeks knowledge, not extinct, but surly endangered these days. I have a lot of respect for him, yet i would not cross the street to urinate on any government minion if they were on fire. Americans are so blind. Friday walking my grandson from school to my truck, i stumbled onto a sale where a retired naval officer was selling out he and his wife’s whole life, except a few cherished things, going to assisted living. This man had been a reader. they were selling hard backs for two dollars. I spent Fri. and Sat, right at two hundred on books. But things on history, politics, government that you just are not going to find in print anymore, history unrevised in recent years. I heard more than one person who was going through the books, looking for ones they could put on Ebay or resell. They would say, look, this one is worth a good bit. The fools did not understand that they held something worth much more in their hands, truth, (as close as you are likely to get), knowledge. And they could not wait to get rid of it to make a couple of bucks.

      • Ali_Bertarian

        “The constitution was never intended to protect the rights of the individual, but to establish the authority of the state. Proof? Look around.”

        More specifically, the Constitution was intended to establish the authority of the communalist state. What we see when we look around is what happens when the most basic law of the land guarantees no individual rights that cannot be repealed by some form of the majority through their representatives. Democrats have already promised to repeal part of the 1st Amendment guarantee of free speech by overturning Citizens United and banning “hate speech.” Everything else is subject to tyranny of the majority, from our light bulbs to our toilet tanks.

    • Brett

      Great post, Bobby. Well done…

  • clarioncaller

    Now this homeless man can work off his fines by participating in the for-profit prison slave system. Since it’s Lent, everyone should eat some farm-raised, prison grown tilapia.

  • gweneth

    Proving – once again – how idiotic government and jewstice system collide to get blood from a turnip. They would have these folks in stocks for kids to throw tomatoes at if they could. Picking on homeless is absurd.

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