S.B. NO.














relating to the houseless bill of rights.





SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:


Houseless BIll of Rights

   -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Houseless" means:

(1) An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence; or

(2) An individual or family who has a primary night-time residence that is:

(A) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations;

(B) An institution that provides temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or

(C) A public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as sleeping accommodations for human beings.

This term does not include any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained under an act of Congress or a state law.

"Life-sustaining activities" includes but is not limited to eating, sleeping, standing, sitting, and moving freely in a public space.

   -2 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to ameliorate adverse effects visited upon individuals when those individuals lack a home.

   -3 Houseless bill of rights; findings. The legislature finds that no person's rights, privileges, or access to public services may be denied solely because a person is houseless, and a houseless individual shall be granted the same rights as any other person.

   -4 Bill of rights. (a) The houseless bill of rights includes the following guarantees to houseless individuals:

(1) The right to engage in life-sustaining activities, including 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 without discrimination on the basis of housing status;

(2) The right to equal treatment by all state and county agencies without discrimination on the basis of housing status;

(3) The right to access fair housing and equal employment opportunity without discrimination due to the lack of a permanent mailing address or the fact that the individual's mailing address is the mailing address of a shelter or social service provider;

(4) The right to emergency medical care free from discrimination on the basis of housing status;

(5) The right to vote, register to vote, and receive documentation necessary to prove identity for voting without discrimination on the basis of housing status;

(6) The right to protection from disclosure of records and information, without proper legal authority, and the right to confidentiality of records and information in accordance with the Federal Homeless Management Information System, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Federal Violence Against Women Act;

(7) The right to a reasonable expectation of privacy in personal property, including but not limited to identification, food, water, medication, and all objects necessary for life-sustaining activities, such as clothing, blankets, pillows, and backpacks, to the same extent as personal property in a permanent residence;

(8) The right to access temporary and permanent shelters without discrimination on the basis of any protected class;

(9) The right to sleep in a legally parked automobile; provided that the automobile is properly registered, licensed, safety inspected, and insured;

(10) The right to manage individual personal finances notwithstanding housing status unless the person:

(A) Voluntarily signs a written agreement, sworn to and witnessed before a notary public, authorizing an individual or agency to manage the person's finances;

(B) Resides in a shelter for homeless persons and has enrolled in a savings program designed to provide rent money upon the person's departure from the shelter; or

(C) Has been ruled or adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to be incompetent to manage the person's financial affairs;

(11) The equal opportunity to have twenty-four-hour access to hygiene facilities and live in decent, safe, sanitary, and healthful accommodations anywhere within the State, regardless of housing status; and

(12) Action by the State, a county, or private organization shall not impede an individual's ability to maintain access to services essential to survival, including but not limited to medical services, shelter, food, and water.

(b) A court of competent jurisdiction may award a plaintiff if violation of these rights occurs."

SECTION 2. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Houseless Bill of Rights



Defines specific rights granted to a person who is houseless including equal access to housing, jobs, and shelters, equal treatment by government agencies, and access to life-sustaining activities and essential services.




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