The homeless might soon have their own Bill of Rights in Colorado. After a powerful hearing in a House committee on Wednesday addressed the treatment of the homeless across the state, proposed bill, BH 15-1264, might soon give homeless people a plethora of rights.
Proposed by Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, the bill in the Colorado Legislature is being referred to as the "Homeless Person's Bill of Rights" because it would give the homeless a set of civil rights. The proposed bill would give the homeless the right to rest in public, the right to move freely, eat and accept food and maintain privacy over their belongings, according to the Associated Press. If any rights are violated, homeless people across the state can seek civil relief through the court system.
"All persons should have the right to rest, eat and survive in public places as long as they are not breaking the law," Kefalas said. "We need to refocus our efforts away from criminalizing how someone looks or lives and instead focus on smart and creative ways to address the lack of affordable housing and support services for persons who are homeless."
Not only does the bill address the root cause of homelessness, it brings to attention the treatment of the population.
While there wasn't a vote during the partial hearing on Wednesday, the hearing is set to continue next week.
Is the Colorado legislature raising "issues about the complex realities" of homeless people?