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Public Act 098-0516


 

Public Act 0516 98TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY



 


 
Public Act 098-0516
 
SB1210 EnrolledLRB098 07470 HEP 37540 b

    AN ACT in relation to homeless persons.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Bill
of Rights for the Homeless Act.
 
    Section 5. Legislative intent. It is the long-standing
policy of this State that no person should suffer unnecessarily
from cold or hunger, be deprived of shelter or the basic rights
incident to shelter, or be subject to unfair discrimination
based on his or her homeless status. At the present time, many
persons have been rendered homeless as a result of economic
hardship, a severe shortage of safe and affordable housing, and
a shrinking social safety net. It is the intent of this Act to
lessen the adverse effects and conditions caused by the lack of
residence or a home.
 
    Section 10. Bill of Rights.
    (a) No person's rights, privileges, or access to public
services may be denied or abridged solely because he or she is
homeless. Such a person shall be granted the same rights and
privileges as any other citizen of this State. A person
experiencing homelessness has the following rights:
        (1) the right to use and move freely in public spaces,
    including but not limited to public sidewalks, public
    parks, public transportation, and public buildings, in the
    same manner as any other person and without discrimination
    on the basis of his or her housing status;
        (2) the right to equal treatment by all State and
    municipal agencies, without discrimination on the basis of
    housing status;
        (3) the right not to face discrimination while
    maintaining employment due to his or her lack of permanent
    mailing address, or his or her mailing address being that
    of a shelter or social service provider;
        (4) the right to emergency medical care free from
    discrimination based on his or her housing status;
        (5) the right to vote, register to vote, and receive
    documentation necessary to prove identity for voting
    without discrimination due to his or her housing status;
        (6) the right to protection from disclosure of his or
    her records and information provided to homeless shelters
    and service providers to State, municipal, and private
    entities without appropriate legal authority; and the
    right to confidentiality of personal records and
    information in accordance with all limitations on
    disclosure established by the federal Homeless Management
    Information Systems, the federal Health Insurance
    Portability and Accountability Act, and the federal
    Violence Against Women Act; and
        (7) the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy in
    his or her personal property to the same extent as personal
    property in a permanent residence.
    (b) As used in this Act, "housing status" means the status
of having or not having a fixed or regular residence, including
the status of living on the streets, in a shelter, or in a
temporary residence.
 
    Section 15. Damages and attorney's fees. In any civil
action alleging a violation of this Act, the court may award
appropriate injunctive and declaratory relief, actual damages,
and reasonable attorney's fees and costs to a prevailing
plaintiff.
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/22/2013