Protected Class Resolution - Open Letter to Homeless Citizens FWD

Tom Boland (
Sat, 17 Jul 1999 22:16:48 -0700 (PDT)

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From: "HTH Austin" <>
Subject: Protected Class Resolution
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 13:50:23 PDT

Open Letter to the Homeless Citizens of North America

Without question, the civil rights of homeless persons are being routinely
violated. As a result, I was asked by the National Coalition for the
Homeless to prepare a Protected Class Resolution that reflects the broad
sweeping abuses being committed against homeless citizens throughout

In May of 1998 the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington D.C.
unanimously passed the attached resolution.

Pursuant to a meeting between Mike Lee in Janet Reno's office and the NCH,
the U.S. Justice Department has now agreed to receive and compile civil
rights abuses committed against homeless persons.

Michael Stoops, chief organizer with the NCH has agreed to forward all
complaints to Washington D.C. He can be reached at
1-202-737-6444 Ext. 311
Or at his e-mail address at

In addition to compiling abuses, our task is to publicize the Protected
Class Resolution. We need to have it adopted at every political level
possible. Ultimately, it would make sense to have it become part of the 1964
Civil Rights amendment to the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the
United States.

In Unity there is Strength;

Richard R. Troxell
President House the Homeless

Board Member
National Coalition for the Homeless.


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WINDOWS\DESKTOP\My Briefcase\class  Because many states and cities are passing and enforcing laws targeted at poor and homeless people, and  the fact that homeless people are targets of senseless assaults and murder due to their condition of homelessnes, House the Homeless feels the need for the adoption of this resolution by City, State and the United States governments.


Whereas, the United States government has adopted and is party to the United Nations' document referenced as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  which "confers on every member of society a right to basic economic,  social,  and cultural entitlements, that every (nation) state should recognize,  serve, and protect, of which food,  clothing,  medical care,  and housing are definitive components of the right to a minimum standard of living and dignity", and

Whereas, the United States Government has adopted, and is party to the United Nations Document; the Habitat Agenda, which calls for certain actions that include but are not limited to: prtection against discrimination, legal security of tenure and equal access to land including women and the poor; effective protection from illegal forced evictions, "taking human rights into consideration, bearing in mind that homless people should not be penalized for their status; by adopting policies aimed at making housing habitable, affordable and accessible, including those who are unable to secure adequate housing through their own means", and

Whereas, the United Nations Document: Habitat agenda, calls for the "Effective monitoring and evaluation of housing conditions, including the extent of homelessness and inadequate housing policies and implementing effective strategies and plans to address those problems", and

Whereas, there is a shortage of affordable housing stock nationwide, and

Whereas, the national minimum wage is an insufficent amount of money to secure safe, decent, affordable housing even at the most basic financial level, and

Whereas, more than the minimum wage is required in every state to be able to afford a one bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent, as set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and

Whereas, the combined effect of these and other circumstances create a group of people that have no alternatives to living on the streets of our nation, and

Whereas,  it is estimated that nationwide,  there are at least 760,000 persons living without a permanent,  fixed,  individual residence on any given night and,

Whereas,  at least 40% of our nation's homeless are United States Veterans, and

Whereas,  approximently 25% of the single adult homeless population suffers from some form of mental illness, and

Whereas,  the fastest growing segment of the population is women with childeren, and

Whereas,  36.5 million men. women, and children of all ages are living in poverty (many of whom are already homeless), and

Whereas,   there has been a collective, concerted effort at city and county levels to devise laws and ordinances that find homeless people guilty of having commited a crime for simple acts such as sleeping in public, and

Whereas,  there are certain life sustaining acts such as eating, breathing and sleeping that must be conducted by all persons including those that are homeless who must conduct these acts in public, and

Whereas,  these laws and ordinances are designed to criminalize and sweep these homeless persons from our nation's streets and imprison them, without regard for their personal safety or care for their personal belongings,  for no reason other than they are lacking housing and as a result, are characterized as non-citizens,  and are deprived of their human rights, and

Whereas,  these impoverished persons are targeted and often made victims of malicious hate crimes and selective enforcement of these laws and ordinances, and

Whereas,  camping,  sleeping and other anti-homeless laws are being enforced at a time when emergency housing shelters are consistently full and no housing alternatives remain available, and

Whereas,    the enforcement of such laws under such circumstances constitute cruel and unusual punishment and impinge upon these persons access to travel,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:  that persons without a fixed,  permanent,  individual place of residence,   and those that are earning 100% of Federal Poverty Guidelines or less,  are sufficent in number characteristics,   and vulnerablity to compromise a distinct class of people,  and as a result,  shall hence forth constitute a Protected Class with all rights and protections under such a designation. Herein after, this Protected Class, will be referred to as the  Indigent Homeless Population.

AND FURTHER, BE IT RESOLVED, that as a Protected Class they will be protected:

Richard Troxell
February 9, 1998
This resolution, written by Richard R. Troxell,  President of House the Homeless Inc. was adopted by the National Coalition on Homelessness in May of 1998, and will be introduced before the U.S. Congress for legislation and ratification.
P.O. Box 2312
Austin, Texas 78768
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