My Rights

My Rights

by Jim Tabb

I have a right to work

    But I have no ID,
    No phone,
    No residence,
    No transportation,
    No references,
    No clean clothes,
    No place to wash or shave
    .And if I do find work,
    I can’t cash my check.

I have a right to sleep

But no shelter is available,
and someone stole my bedding.

I have a right to eat

    But I have no food or money.

I have a right to rest

    But not in public places.

I have a right to use a bathroom

    But no public toilets are available.

I have a right to vote

    But I can’t register without an address.

I have a right to sing

    But when I do I’m cited for public disturbance.

I have a right to use a library

    But I can’t get a card,
    Can’t check out a book,
    Can’t go on the Internet,
    Without an ID and Address.

I’m Homeless

    At least I still have that Right!

They are still out there


One response to “My Rights

  1. Your website and your insight on the homeless really touched me. Thank you for your work and your kindness. one or two more ideas: If you see a homeless person at or near a fast food place, order something “to go” for them; whatever your pocketbook allows. Give it to them just before you leave the restaurant and add a buck or two if you can. Another idea: I have some friends who once a week loads up her van with peanut butter sandwiches, bottled water and a big vat of chili. (which they put into lidded styrofoam containers, taped closed) The distribute it to the homeless in our city, along with any blankets or clothing they have gathered. Our city, shamefully, recently imposed a law that prohibits feeding or donating to the homeless. My friend’s comment is: “they (the police) wil have to catch me first!” we are all working to change that regulation. Help one person everyday, my friends, becuause there but for the grace of god go I.

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