California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has introduced the Homeless Bill of Rights, which would allow the homeless to do any life-sustaining activity on public property.
That includes sleeping, panhandling and even urinating.
“We think it’s time to begin establishing a set of laws to treat (the homeless) as human beings, which they are,” said Carlos Alcala, Ammiano’s communications director.
A homeless man identifying himself Kenneth has been on the streets of Sacramento for 12 years. He struggles to find food, shelter and water, and is in constant fear of being shot or mugged.
Joan Burke, who has worked with Sacramento Loaves and Fishes for the last 25 years, strongly supports Ammiano’s legislation.
“In Sacramento, we don’t have enough emergency shelters for the people who need shelters. Some of them need to sleep outside,” Burke told FOX40. “Our parks have locked up all the bathrooms. There is nowhere for people to go to the bathroom.”
“You make us feel like animals, then of course we’re going to start acting like animals,” he said.
But not everyone is on board, including midtown Vanilla Bean Gourmet Cupcakes employee Jasmine Lymas.
“They’re aggressive. Some are really aggressive,” she said. “They come into the store and growl at me.”
Lymas fears legislation like Ammiano’s could make things even worse.
Kai Beech filed this report.