On Wednesday April 19th, just before midnight, the Right to Rest Act died in a committee hearing on a 8 to 5 vote. The measure had been dubbed as a homeless bill of rights.
Paul Boden, Executive and Organizing Director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) told KGNU’s Dave Ashton that there is a wave of ordinances criminalizing the homeless sweeping the nation.
“The targeted enforcement and the increased number of laws is very directly related to homelessness.”
This was the third year that a Right to Rest bill has died at the State House. This year’s version was introduced by Representatives Joseph Salazar and Jovan Melton.
Boden who was one of the participants at a rally ahead of the committee hearing said that homelessness has reached a critical point in the country.
“Anybody that is less than wealthy is at risk of, at some point depending on certain circumstances, ending up out on the street. It isn’t like our DNA changed and in the early ’80s we decided sleeping in the streets was fun. It was directly related to our inability to afford housing and that’s what homelessness is, it’s without housing and nothing ends homelessness like a home.”