Little Rock Named Third Meanest City to Homeless

JANUARY 11, 2006 - Posted at 3:41 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Little Rock is no longer the "meanest" city toward the homeless, but a group has ranked Arkansas' capital third worst for the way the city treats its homeless population.

The Washington-based National Coalition for the Homeless ranked Little Rock better than only Sarasota, Florida, and Lawrence, Kansas, in its treatment of the homeless.  The group lists the 20 "meanest" cities.

Little Rock was named "meanest" city for 2004, worse than Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York.  The organization released its first annual report in January 2002.

Following Little Rock on the list were Atlanta, Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Santa Monica (California) and Flagstaff (Arizona).

But Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey said he disagrees with the ranking and that it was done with the intention to embarass the city.  Dailey says the city has no ordinances that target the homeless.  Dailey says Little Rock has been praised by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness in drafting a ten-year plan to end chronic homelessness.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)