Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 1:41 am | Mostly Cloudy 59º


Ken Williams: Help Establish a Homeless Bill of Rights

In the past few weeks, several deaths on the streets in Santa Barbara — including a violent one — remind us all of the inherent dangers faced by our neighbors who are forced to live outside without the security of a home, or at least shelter. This has happened alongside cutbacks in available shelter beds and other restrictions on who is served. Please use the Homeless Bill of Rights below to try to do something about this national disgrace.

A call to action: Do what you can to help ensure its widespread distribution. Use it as a means to encourage debate and talk about the violence the homeless face on a daily basis — and, hopefully, action to help preserve not only the dignity of life, but life itself. They must not, and they do not stand alone.

Homeless Bill of Rights
Developed by Ken Williams
1. Right not to be murdered

2. Right not to be physically assaulted

3. Right not to be raped

4. Right to shelter when sick or injured

5. Right to medical care when sick or injured

6. Right to shelter, food and treatment for people with a mental illness

7. Right to shelter in severe rain, cold or heat that threatens health and welfare

8. Right not to be demonized by private or government entities, and treated with respect by all

9. Right of women and men not to be hunted by sexual predators

10. Right of children for clothing, food, shelter and education

Ken Williams has been a social worker for the homeless for the past 30 years, and is the author of China White, Shattered Dreams: A Story of the Streets and his first nonfiction book, There Must Be Honor. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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