People March For Homeless ‘Bill Of Rights’

Hundreds of people showed up to Duluth City Hall Monday to support a group whose voices aren’t always heard — the local homeless population.

The men and women were there to advocate for a Homeless Persons Bill of Rights, which would include a list of eleven rights to make things easier in public for those struggling with homelessness.

In January of 2014, the city council voted unanimously to pass the resolution to incorporate the Bill of Rights.

But three years have passed and activists are hoping with Mayor Emily Larson’s new administration, things will change.

They feel the rights would make it easier for people struggling to get back on their feet.

“I get up extra early, I spend hours looking for a bathroom that I can use so that I can clean up my hair, I spend a lot of time and effort making sure my work clothes are not wrinkly and terrible looking,” said Elizabeth Brown, who said she lives in her car.

“For me, especially living in my car, going to job interviews, I didn’t have the ability to clean up and use a mirror to do my makeup and wash my hair so that I could go get a job, and I really struggled with that,” says Brown.

Deb Holman works as a street outreach specialist and says the Bill of Rights would show the city cares about everyone who lives there.

“If this is passed, its going to show them that, yes, the city of Duluth cares about you, we care about what happens to you and we want to empower you.” says Holman.

Holman said Duluth lacks housing for the homeless, but does a lot of things right — and this bill could influence other communities to change as well.

“If this goes through and I’m confident it will, it will be the first of its kind in the united states. So I think we’ll just show other cities that it can be done,” Holman said.

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