silverstein-042313br0253Illinois’ homeless will be given equal rights to access to public buildings, voting and other basic rights under a measure State Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D–Chicago) passed through the Senate today.

“The homeless most times are in this situation due to a hardship in their life,” Silverstein said. “So, we should embrace our homeless neighbors and give them the basic rights that many take advantage of every day.”

Homeless individuals face discrimination in situations for merely lacking a mailing or home address, especially when filling out job applications or showing proof of residency when attempting to vote.

“I hope the Homeless Bill of Rights is only the first step our state takes in ending discrimination against the homeless in Illinois and extending opportunities to allow these individuals to improve their situation,” Silverstein continued.

The measure lists seven rights that will be extended to the homeless:

  1. Move freely through public buildings, parks, sidewalks and transit systems;
  2. Equal treatment from all State & municipal agencies;
  3. Freedom from employment discrimination based on a lack of a mailing address;
  4. Emergency medical care;
  5. Register to vote and vote;
  6. Confidentiality of private records and other personal information;
  7. A reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to personal property.

The measure, Senate Bill 1210, received a vote of 41-11 and now moves to the House for further consideration.

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