A California city has brought charges against 12 people who were feeding homeless people at a neighborhood park, as officials try to rein in a hepatitis A outbreak that has killed 20 people and prompted mass vaccinations and the bleaching of streets.

A volunteer organization named Break the Ban manned tables offering breakfast bars, oranges and bananas, hygiene supplies and socks at a local park. Within an hour, the police arrived threatening to arrest those who defied the ban. And they did just that. Those charged were given a citation and not detained.

Homelessness in the US has grown by about 1% since 2016, the first increase since the great recession, and it is driven by high rents on the east and west coasts.