My friend and CitySquare colleague, Will Goldman sent the following interesting report from the Huffington Post my way. Let me hear your reactions.
Rhode Island Considers 'Homeless Bill Of Rights' To End Discrimination
By DAVID KLEPPER Posted: 05/14/2012 2:20 pm Updated: 05/14/2012 2:56 pm
"I get the looks," said the 31-year-old Providence man, squinting because he recently lost his glasses in a fight that also left him with stitches on his forehead. "It's the same hassle everywhere. Happens every day. There's nothing you can do. You speak up and you get in trouble."
Vega had just finished a bologna sandwich at a weekly soup kitchen set up in the Rhode Island Statehouse, where lawmakers are now considering first-of-its kind legislation that would create a "Homeless Bill of Rights" intended to give people like Vega greater protection from discrimination.
The bill would specifically prohibit law enforcement, health care workers, potential landlords or employers from treating homeless people unfairly because of their housing status. The measure's sponsor, Sen. John Tassoni, said most Americans probably aren't aware of the daily discrimination faced by homeless people.
"Nobody decides one day they want to be homeless," said the Smithfield Democrat. "And nobody deserves to put up with the stuff these people have to deal with every day. It's time we did something to stop the appalling things that go on."
Read the entire report here.