Homeless Bill of Rights
Legislation protecting the civil and human rights of homeless people.
End Discrimination in:
Discrimination in access to housing is acute in Salt Lake City. While the city expects the private market to support their homeless voucher program, even a mother and her 7 year old daughter couldn't find a place to rent with this low supply and the inherent discrimination against the homeless.
Access to Public Spaces
You and I can sit on a park bench during the middle of the day, but often our unsheltered get harassed and prevented from using public spaces. This is especially true in access to public restrooms.
Recently I picked up a nomad I'm housing from the hospital. He was waiting for me, his ride, but was kicked by a security officer, who told him "get out of my hospital, you dirty bastard" and forced to wait in the cold outside right after experiencing a seizure.
This guarantees the right to privacy of property in public spaces. Too often, our unsheltered have their tents searched, their posessions thrown out in advance of abatements and are thrown into jail. However, isn't a tent a home?
There is a labor shortage, and yet so many people in the service sector, were first to lose their jobs under Covid and are now on the streets. We must make it easier to hire the unsheltered, and protect their rights to work from discrimination.
Law Enforcement Harassment
Right after the fire on the 500s overpass, the police came in and ran the warrants for the entire camp. An 18 year old nomad got sexually assaulted as a police man groped her vaginal and breast area. Others were thrown down. A woman screamed as her arms were held in an unnatural angle. We must work to prevent undue police harassment from our vulnerable.
Sans a mailing or residential address, our homeless don't know they still have voting protections. This bill would solidify their right to vote, and work with the voting institutions to de facto guarantee this right.
The bills that have the most teeth are ones that provide a legal aid agency that can adjudicate cases of harassment, as well as appropriation bills that provide funding for more housing, changes to hygiene, annual enforcement reports, etc.