Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A 'Homeless Bill of Rights' - Really!

Talk about a commitment to do something big! While other states are cutting funding for the most vulnerable American citizens, politicians are trying to pass legislation that recognizes and protects the dignity and well being of it's homeless population. The state senate recently passed a 'Homeless Bill of Rights'!

"The Rhode Island Senate passed legislation Wednesday backed by Senator John J. Tassoni Jr., that aims to establish a “Homeless Bill of Rights” in Rhode Island."
"According to the General Assembly, the legislation will "guarantee that no person’s rights, privileges or access to public services will be denied or abridged solely because he or she is homeless"."
"Rhode Island will be the first state in the nation to adopt such a law if passed by the General Assembly."

How does a 'homeless bill of rights' look?

"The bill guarantees rights to homeless individuals including:
•The right to be free from searches or detention
•The right not to face discrimination while seeking or maintaining employment due to lack of a permanent mailing address
•The right not to be criminally sanctioned for unobtrusively sleeping in a public place

•The right to emergency medical care

•The right to vote, register to vote and receive documentation needed to prove identity for voting

•The right to protection from disclosure to law enforcement agencies

•The right to confidentiality of personal records and information

•The right to a reasonable expectation of privacy of personal property"

Senator Tassoni goes on to say, “We can’t just shrug and say ‘too bad’, we need to do more...We must keep working, and work harder, to move Rhode Islanders off the street and into more permanent, safe housing.”

Imagine, legislation that actually preserves the rights of the most poor among us - amazing!

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