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Indybay Feature
Homeless is a Human Right Violation
by Priscilla Cespedes
Monday Nov 15th, 2021 5:54 PM
With Sonoma County facing a homelessness crisis, it is time we look at homelessness as a human right violation.
Tents, pieces of wood, blue, green traps, and people displaced with limited places to seek shelter are what we face in Sonoma County as our homeless population grows before our eyes. The declaration of Human Rights states in Article 25 every individual has the right to a standard of living, health, and well-being for themselves and their family. That includes food, clothing, housing, medical care, and social services. The right to security in sickness, old age, unemployment, or the lack of livelihood is based on circumstances out of their control(Universal declaration of human rights). In the United States, these are not things that are guaranteed to us but the side effects to the privilege of having money. In Sonoma County, the livable wage for an individual is $19.51 and it jumps to $69.97 for one working adult and three children(Living wage calculator 2021). How are people supposed to make a livable wage when is $15.20 in most of Sonoma County and skyrocketing rent prices( City of Sonoma 2020)This makes it abundantly clear that our right to food, clothing, shelter, medical care, social services, and security is not a right but a privilege. Many will say that we are pandering to the homeless population. We should not solve their problem. We are a nation of individuals that can pick ourselves up by our bootstraps. For people to pick themselves up, we need to have livable wages, affordable housing, social services, and a community that does not hinder but supports the integration of the homeless individuals back into the Sonoma Counties community. There are so many life circumstances that can lead you to become homeless, and that is why we need to see homelessness as a human rights violation.
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