A California lawmaker wants to protect the homeless from discrimination.
Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco says state law already protects residents from discrimination based on sex, race, religion and sexual orientation and he says homelessness should be added to the list.
The Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/TAp7qZ ) says Ammiano's "Homeless Bill of Rights," Assembly Bill 5, is aimed at communities that try to drive out homeless people who have nowhere to turn.
Sacramento, for instance, has battled homeless tent encampments for years. And San Francisco voters passed an ordinance banning sitting or lying on sidewalks.
The City of Palm Springs employees Community Officers who handle the homeless on an individual basis. Making arrests when necessary as well as offering a helping hand to the law-abiding homeless person. According to the Palm Springs City website, "Community Policing Officers are able to assist the homeless with referrals to public and private social services that provide necessities such as shelter, food, and transportation."
Ammiano's proposal would give legal protection to people engaging in life-sustaining activities on public property. That includes sleeping, congregating, panhandling and urinating.