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Duluth City Council Voices Approval for 'Homeless Bill of Rights'

Created: 01/13/2014 10:56 PM WDIO.com
By: Zach Hammer
zhammer@wdio.com

The Duluth City Council unanimously approved a resolution at their Monday night meeting, supporting the principles of the petition to establish a "Homeless Bill of Rights."

The petition for the bill of rights, started by the homeless outreach group Loaves and Fishes in Duluth, calls for the end of discrimination against the homeless, more affordable housing, and making it pubic policy that homelessness is not a crime.

"What we want is a little human dignity," said Mike Hoemke, a formerly homeless man living at the Loaves and Fishes house. "We want it put down in writing that these people have the right to be here in Duluth and it's up to us to help. It's up to us to help them find housing."

The petition also calls for the forming of a commission designed to "end hunger, homelessness, and poverty" in Duluth.

Councilor Sharla Gardner says that going forward she will be the council's liaison to the Duluth Human Rights Commission on the issue.

Gardner says that there are roughly six vacancies on the commission that will be appointed with the Homeless Bill of Rights their main focus.

She says appointees will include advocates for the homeless and experts on affordable housing.

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