PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Activists marched outside Phoenix City Hall on Wednesday for the rights of the homeless to sleep and camp on the streets without the risk of getting thrown in jail.

Elizabeth Venable, who works for the Homeless Leadership Project, said police are ignoring a federal court ruling.

[WATCH: Activists for homeless protest Phoenix policy of arresting people sleeping in public]

Last year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled cities can't arrest people for sleeping in public if there is no room available at a local shelter.

Police have arrested 260 people for violating the City's camping codes since September 2018, according to police records.

"To me, sleeping is not a real crime. Robbing somebody is a real crime, and preventing somebody from sleeping doesn't prevent somebody from robbing," Venable said.

According to the Maricopa Association of Governments, there are about 6,000 homeless people in Maricopa County with just over 2,000 living in Phoenix.

Amy Schwabenlender, the executive director of the Human Services Campus on Phoenix, said her shelter is full every night.

Every month, she estimates 500 people experiencing homelessness are turned away for lack of space at the facility.

"(Police) really are stuck between a rock and a hard place, in my opinion, that they're being responsive to community and neighbor requests, yet, there's no solution. We can't arrest ourselves out of homelessness," she said.

 


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