In California, the debate around homelessness seems to have settled on the idea that securing an actual home for the hardcore indigent is a lost cause. The only question now is how best to make public spaces a permanent substitute for a roof over one's head.
Demcoratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco has proposed a "Homeless Bill of Rights" that would "give legal protection to people engaging in life-sustaining activities on public property," reports
the Sacramento Bee
. Apart from the right to relieve one's self in public areas, Assembly Bill 5 would likewise grant immunity to those soliciting cash on sidewalks and sleeping in parks.
A spokesman for one of the bill's sponsors likened the current treatment of the homeless to Jim Crow laws, and claimed the hoped-for legislation "would require local governments to leave people in peace who are not committing crimes."
"Houseless people need to be treated like everybody else - it's not a crime to be without a house," said one advocate for the homeless.
Via the Sacramento Bee