Best Persons

The government of Rhode Island for passing a Homeless Bill of Rights.

Rhode Island’s governor is expected to sign into law the first “Homeless Bill of Rights” in the United States as early as next week, formally banning discrimination against homeless people and affirming their equal access to jobs, housing and services.

The legislation, which won final approval by the state Senate on Wednesday, bucks a national trend among municipalities toward outlawing behaviors associated with homelessness such as eating, sleeping and panhandling in public spaces.

Among other steps, the Rhode Island law would guarantee homeless people the right to use public sidewalks, parks and transportation as well as public buildings, like anyone else “without discrimination on the basis of his or her housing status.”

It’s not lost on me that I’m declaring a group of people to be among the world’s best persons for passing legislation which should be a given, but unfortunately it isn’t. Some cities have virtually criminalized homelessness, and some have even banned feeding the homeless. Punishable by law.

This is progressive.

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  • muselet

    It’s a sad state of affairs when basic decency is noteworthy.

    –alopecia