Advocate for Human Rights in the USA – Be Like Joyce
Only Rhode Island and Connecticut have passed a “Homeless Bill of Rights.” John Joyce is an American role model.
Many are homeless as a result of economic hardship, a shortage of safe, affordable housing, and a shrinking social safety net
“All free governments are instituted for the protection, safety, and happiness of the people. All laws, therefore, should be made for the good of the whole; and the burdens of the state ought to be fairly distributed among its citizens. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied equal protection of the laws.
Concordant with this fundamental belief, no person should suffer unnecessarily or be subject to unfair discrimination based on his or her homeless status. It is the intent of this chapter to ameliorate the adverse effects visited upon individuals and our communities when the state’s residents lack a home.”
Ref: Article 1, Section 2 of the Rhode Island State Constitution and Chapter 356, 34-37-3 of the law enacted June 20, 2012 – General Property Law, Section 1, Title 34 –
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Meanwhile, California has delayed action until this fall and the current proposal falls short.
Housing appropriations are needed.
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Citizens of Illinois are waiting for the Governor to sign legislation.
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Provisions enacted by Rhode Island include:
Anti-Discrimination – “Discriminate” includes segregate, separate, or otherwise differentiate between or among individuals because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, country of ancestral origin, disability, age, housing status, or familial status or because of the race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, country of ancestral origin, disability, age, housing status, or familial status of any person with whom they are or may wish to be associated.
Rhode Island Law enacted June 20, 2012 – General Property Law, Section 1, Title 34 –
Chapter 356, 34-37.1-3. Bill of Rights. – No person’s rights, privileges, or access to public services may be denied or abridged solely because he or she is homeless. Such a person shall be granted the same rights and privileges as any other resident of this state. A person experiencing homelessness:
(1) Has the right to use and move freely in public spaces, including, but not limited to public sidewalks, public parks, public transportation and public buildings, in the same manner as any other person, and without discrimination on the basis of his or her housing status;
(2) Has the right to equal treatment by all state and municipal agencies, without
discrimination on the basis of housing status;
(3) Has the right not to face discrimination while seeking or maintaining employment due
to his or her lack of permanent mailing address, or his or her mailing address being that of a
shelter or social service provider;
(4) Has the right to emergency medical care free from discrimination based on his or her
(5) Has the right to vote, register to vote, and receive documentation necessary to prove
identity for voting without discrimination due to his or her housing status;
(6) Has the right to protection from disclosure of his or her records and information
provided to homeless shelters and service providers to state, municipal and private entities
without appropriate legal authority; and the right to confidentiality of personal records and
information in accordance with all limitations on disclosure established by the Federal Homeless
Management Information Systems, the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act, and the Federal Violence Against Women Act; and
(7) Has the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her personal property to
the same extent as personal property in a permanent residence.
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