Chicago Police DepartmentGeneral Order G02-01-04
Homeless Bill of Rights
Issue Date:26 November 2013Effective Date:26 November 2013
Index Category:Human Rights and Community Partnerships
  • A.This directive sets forth Department policy coinciding with the State of Illinois Public Act 098-0516 prohibiting discrimination against any individuals based on homeless status.
  • B.The intent of this act is to lessen the adverse effects and conditions caused by the lack of residence or a home.
  • A.The Chicago Police Department is committed to observing, upholding and enforcing all laws relating to individual rights.
  • B.Discrimination against individuals on the basis of homeless status is prohibited. Department members will not exhibit any bias or prejudice against an individual because of his or her homeless status.
III.Bill of Rights for the Homeless Act
  • 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 homeless status;
    • 2.the right of 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 due to 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.
  • C.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.
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
13-123 PMD