Target: Ms. Carol Liu, California State Senator
Goal: Applaud efforts to stop the criminalization of homelessness.
The criminalization of homelessness may soon come to an end thanks to the introduction of a new bill in response to a recent Force Change petition, which called on the government for action. Bills such as this have become necessary in recent years as some push to keep homeless people out of sight. This is done by taking away their ability to utilize public spaces, for things such as eating or sleeping, with citations and fines that often result in jail time. This attempt to put the homeless out of sight and out of mind is unethical and the author and supporters of this bill deserve our commendation.
Much of the legislation introduced to get the homeless out of sight goes against fundamental human rights. The bill, as introduced, would grant some much needed protections to homeless citizens of California. Firstly, and most importantly, homeless people would be granted the full use of public spaces for things such as eating, sleeping, and resting. Secondly, the bill would protect the homeless from unlawful searches by police.
The author of the bill argues that it is time to do something about poverty and stop trying to brush it under the carpet. She also says that an important piece of the puzzle, when discussing homelessness, is mental illness. Some studies have found the rate of mental illness in homeless people to be as high as 40 percent. It is no wonder many of these people are forced to live on the streets and are unable to help themselves out of their situations.
For all of these reasons, we should commend Senator Carol Liu and all of her co-sponsors for introducing this bill. Homelessness and poverty are serious problems in the United States and they will continue to be problems until we work to find effective solutions. We cannot continue to ignore the calls of those in need. Please sign here to thank Senator Liu and all those fighting for the rights of the homeless.
Dear Senator Liu,
I am writing to express my deepest thanks to you and the co-sponsors of your bill that will end the criminalization of homelessness. The recent attempts by some to get the homeless out of sight and prohibit them from using public spaces is despicable. The use of those spaces is a human right and your bill will ensure that all people are allowed to enjoy them.
As you well know, mental illness is a large piece of the puzzle when it comes to dealing with poverty and homelessness; some studies have shown the rate of severe mental illness in the homeless to be as high as 40 percent. These people are not lazy, and they are not homeless by choice. They are often in need of help and preventing them from the very basic right to exist in public is not the way to do that. Thank you again for your great work on this bill. Please continue to fight for the rights of the homeless and impoverished until they no longer need your protection.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Matthew Woitunski via Wikimedia Commons