Rhode Island Stands for Homeless Rights

By Rebekah Hanish

We may think that equal rights were established in the U.S. years ago with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but there are still ways that people groups are being illegally discriminated against. For many homeless, their struggle to find work or housing is more than their obvious lack of connections or resourcing. They are often denied those rights because they are homeless, which only perpetuates the cycle.

For the very first time in the nation, a new bill has been passed in Rhode Island to specifically protect the rights of homeless people. The bill protects homeless from harassment and bans discrimination against them in housing and employment as well as providing redress for the homeless who have experienced these injustices in the past.

The bill was crafted by John Joyce who was formerly homeless, with the help of other homeless advocates like Jim Ryczek and previously homeless people and eventually enlisting the help of Senator John Tassoni. After lots of hard work recrafting the bill and gaining support, the bill was passed, setting an example to the rest of the states to advocate for the insurance of rights for homeless people.

The hard work and ambition of one or two people set this bill in motion for Rhode Island. Imagine what could be accomplished with your support.