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Indianapolis Passes Homeless Bill of Rights

March 11, 2015

My mother told me when I was a kid that it was illegal to be homeless.  This article implies that homelessness was only recently decriminalized.  Of course, if homelessness were illegal, would that not create a slippery slope that would indemnify employers and landlords as accomplices to a crime, particularly if the person were laid off or let go (as opposed to fired, which the Department of Labor narrowly defines as discipline for violating company policy) or the landlord wanted a holdover?

Still, this doesn’t make me want to return.  The New York City Human Resources Administration recently put me through hell when it messed up in making my storage payments, and Indianapolis law requires only two months of storage payments from the city.  My legal counsel recommended I not blog about it  because it could potentially hurt my case.  The problem arose on February 2 (I submitted my request on January 23rd, the earliest I had both required documents–updated shelter letter and February storage invoice), when I was texted that the facility had not received payment.  As long as staying in the shelter and qualifying for public assistance makes me eligible for city storage payments, I need to be employed before leaving the shelter system or I lose everything I own.

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