A new State Assembly Bill AB 5, entitled “The Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights and Fairness Act”, could severely limit local jurisdictions’ ability to manage public spaces and foster economic growth in urban centers across the state.
The proposed bill amends civil and government codes to create a new protected class, ultimately providing unlimited access for homeless individuals in public spaces, parks, streets, transit infrastructure, and even entrances of office buildings. The bill would prohibit property and business owners, DSP’s clean and safe team, and public safety officers from enforcing local ordinances that limit nuisance activities including public urination, sleeping, congregating and other behavior.
Instead of offering services and housing, this measure enables our most at risk and chronic homeless individuals to remain on the streets. It provides no long-term solutions for homeless and negatively impacts urban revitalization and economic development efforts.
Locally, DSP has been working with community partners to find sustainable solutions to end chronic homelessness. DSP staff has collaborated with local leaders on “The Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness” and the DSP’s Navigator program is a successful example of a public-private partnership that identifies at-risk homeless individuals and connects them with services.
The DSP is working with our local partners and the California Downtown Association to strongly oppose this measure. The measure has been referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, but no hearing date has been set. For more information or for a sample opposition letter please, contact DSP Policy Manager Kevin Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org.