Enforcing Homeless Bill of Rights

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 Homeless people are everywhere! It doesn’t matter what city or town you visit in this country; at some point, you have seen a homeless person. No homeless person deserves to be on the street. Some could have been very wealthy and lost their job, teenagers could have suffered abuse, or some could have been shunned from their family, but the fact is no one truly knows not unless we take an interest in these people. They are people just like us so we should spread our wealth to the less fortunate.This topic is very close to me because I donated to the homeless shelter in Baton Rouge, I’ve spoken to several homeless people and I’ve done plenty of research on the National health care for the homeless and the local news prior to writing this petition. By the end of this petition, you will know what homelessness is, the increasing rates of homelessness, and solutions including donations and signing a petition for homeless rights. Let us begin by talking about what a homeless person is and why the rates in Louisiana are increasing steadily. According to the national healthcare for the homeless council, a homeless person is an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; stay in a shelter, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situation. While I was researching I came across the nationalhomless.org website published 2015, which stated that Louisiana has a 38% rate of homeless people and it is steadily increasing due to natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. For instance, do you all remember the devastating flood that happened in August in Baton Rouge? Well, according to the U.S News from 2016, that flood alone left 10,000 individuals homeless in Baton Rouge where Louisiana as a whole had 55,000 homeless individuals. These numbers will only get worse if we don’t take precaution! Another reason why we should advocate for helping the homeless is because they cannot afford health insurance so they are more likely to die. Over 41 million Americans have no health care insurance because it costs so much according to the U.S. Bureau of Census. Conditions which require regular, uninterrupted treatment, such as HIV/AIDS, addictive disorders, and mental disorders are extremely difficult to treat or control among those without adequate housing. Health care is important to everyone because Health insurance covers most hospital costs and offers many other convenient benefits. So how can we help decrease the rate of homelessness?You should donate/ volunteer at your local shelters. The closest shelter to volunteer or donate to LSU is “Area alliance for the homeless” 153 N 17th st, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. It is 8 minutes by car, get a group to go and donate unwanted clothes or food. You can also keep a spare jar of coins /cash in your car to give to people on the sides of the streets. As a citizen of Louisiana, you should set some time out of your schedule to get involved in making your community safer because who doesn’t want to live in a safe community? Another way to help the homeless is to enforce the homeless bill of rights According to the National law center in homelessness and poverty in 2015, the Homeless Bill of Rights refers to legislation protecting the civil and human rights of homeless people. These laws affirm that homeless people have rights to medical care, free speech, free movement, opportunities for employment, and privacy. This law will also advocate for raising the minimum wage so more people can afford more things. This law is active in Rhode Island and Connecticut so it needs to be authorized as soon as possible in Louisiana. According to an article published in the Huffington post by Kate Abbey-Lambertz, she states that the housing wage for a two-bedroom apartment is $42,240 annually. That means someone earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 would have to work 112 hours a week to afford the typical rent. As a homeless person, you don’t have much dedication or motivation to work because you don’t own a home or have a reliable family to work for. Therefore, the homeless bill of rights will decrease the amount of homeless by allowing people to earn more money when working. These rights will allow the homeless to feel less like criminals, and more like citizens with the chance to move forward in life. Now that I have told you ways to solve this problem, lets take a moment to visualize what will happen if society actually respects the homeless. If homelessness did not exist, the world would be a very different place.  Every child would leave school and have a home to come home to at the end of the day.  Parents would not have to spend all of their energy trying to find a warm place for their children to sleep at night and instead have more time to devote to the actual teaching and raising of their children.  There would be less alcoholism, substance abuse, and crime. We will see our society become safer and more efficient.  A time I helped the homeless was with my church group. We helped at the “Area for an alliance for homeless” and that is when we met Halley Gibson. We brought 60 boxes of pizza and hundreds of gift bags filled with blankets, deodorant, toothbrushes and other basic necessities. There were thousands of people of all ages including toddlers, teens and elderly laying on the cold, hard, concrete floor. The shelter was so amazed to see us and some even started to cry. It was a humbling experience! Now that we know what a homeless person is and how to help them, lets recap. Reducing the number of homeless people in Louisiana is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed-Just because they don’t have a house to call home does not make them worth any less. I have this petition for everyone to sign to enforce this homeless bill of rights urging them to let homeless people be able to not be discriminated against when asking for a job, or a donation. Some may be harassing you for money, but you are their only hope.  Don’t be scared to help! Let’s share our blessings with the rest of society!

 



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