Rhode Island’s Homeless
In recent months, several penny-pinched municipalities have taken a stab at eradicating homelessness by making indigence illegal. Cities have moved to criminalize "acts of living" like sitting, lying down, or asking for change on the corner. Rhode Island has decided to take the high road; its Assembly just passed the country's first Homeless Bill of Rights. This bill declares an equal right to jobs, housing, services, and public space for all inhabitants, whether they have a home or not. Rhode Island noticed. "Discrimination was out of control," says John Joyce, who lived for years without a roof over his head, and now works with the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project (RIHAP).