NCH visits Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island
credit: James Davis

In the late 90’s a person sleeping on the banks of the Ohio River, in a sleeping bag, was pushed and rolled into the river and left to die.

A group of teenagers armed with baseball bats proceeded to beat — nearly to death — the person they had rolled into the river.

A series of videos called Bumfights featured homeless people committing heinous acts of violence such as the above, drinking urine, diving into a pool to retrieve drugs and nearly drowning. Fake News?! I say not!

Hate crimes against the homeless have risen significantly since 2013 with over 199 violent attacks in 2014 and 2015 alone, according to the most recent survey conducted by the National Coalition for the Homeless. Some of these attacks resulted in deaths. In fact, since then, more people have died as a result of being homeless than all of the other protected classes combined (race, religion, gender identity, etc).

The late Michael Stoops spearheaded NCH’s effort to introduce legislation placing homeless people in a protected class.

Over the past 15 years, NCH found 1,437 violent hate crimes committed against homeless people, including 375 victims who were murdered. Perpetrators tended to be males under 30 years old, with victims being generally middle-aged men.

This is unacceptable in a modern society. Join NCH and I, as a member of their speakers’ bureau, in getting hate crimes such as these made part of the protected class.

I ask my customers and all Street Sense supporters to continue to mail their read or unread copies of the paper to the White House. Thank you very much.