The Homeless Bill of Rights (also Homeless Person's Bill of Rights and Acts of Living bill) refers to legislation protecting the civil and human rights of homeless people. These laws affirm that homeless people have equal rights to medical care, free speech, free movement, voting, opportunities for employment, and privacy. Legislation of this type has become law in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Illinois and is under consideration by several other U.S. states.
Laws that criminalize visible homelessness are immoral and offend our basic human instincts. They are contrary to the fundamental religious and political principals from which the American people seek guidance, and their existence demonstrates that we have fallen vastly short of our religious and foundational aspirations.
Business interests, represented by the California Chamber of Commerce, have called Assemblymember Tom Ammiano's Homeless Person's Bill of Rights  a "job killer" which would create "costly and unreasonable mandates on employers." Some municipalities and local politicians also oppose the laws, which impose state authority to overturn local regulations. San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener commented:
Our local laws against forming encampments, passing out and blocking sidewalks, and otherwise monopolizing public spaces would be wiped off the books. Think we have a street behavior problem now? Just wait until this passes.
The Los Angeles Times suggested in an editorial that the Homeless Bill of Rights does not go far enough unless accompanied by economic resources allocated to provide housing. Joel John Roberts, CEO of People Assisting the Homeless, argued similarly that the Homeless Bill of Rights may be toothless and even enabling. Roberts writes:
There needs to be a balance between criminalizing homelessness with ordinances that persecute people who are forced to live on the street, and giving those same people the right to do whatever they want without any consequences.... A more powerful Bill of Rights for people who are homeless, however, would consist of one simple right: the right to housing.
Puerto Rico and some states have passed laws adding homeless people to their lists of groups protected against hate crimes.
Rhode Island was the first state in the U.S. to pass a "Homeless Bill of Rights". John Joyce, who was homeless for a period in his life, is responsible for the initial introduction of the bill. The Rhode Island law, S-2052, was ratified in the state of Rhode Island on June 21, 2012 and signed into law by Governor Lincoln Chafee on June 27. It amends the Rhode Island Fair Housing Act with wording intended to protect the rights of homeless people and prevent discrimination against them. It is the first U.S. state-level law designed to protect the rights of homeless people.
Excerpt from Rhode Island bill S-2052
34-37.1-3. Bill of Rights. – 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 1 shall be granted the same rights and privileges as any other resident of this state. A person experiencing homelessness:
Has 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 housing status;
Has the right to equal treatment by all state and municipal agencies, without discrimination on the basis of housing status;
Has the right not to face discrimination while seeking or 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;
Has the right to emergency medical care free from discrimination based on his or her housing status;
Has 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;
Has 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.
The well-established Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless (and a newer subgroup called Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project) collaborated with the more radical Occupy Providence group to lobby successfully for the Bill.
The law does not guarantee positive rights such as housing or food, and some homeless advocates are concerned that it has not had enough impact.
On June 5, the Connecticut Assembly passed a Homeless Bill of Rights (SB 896) with seven protections similar to those passed in Rhode Island. Pending signature by Governor Dan Malloy, the bill would take effect on October 1, 2013. The Connecticut law significantly includes freedom from police harassment in its first section.
Excerpt from Connecticut bill SB 896
(a) There is created a Homeless Person's Bill of Rights to guarantee that the rights, privacy and property of homeless persons are adequately safeguarded and protected under the laws of this state. The rights afforded homeless persons to ensure that their person, privacy and property are safeguarded and protected, as set forth in subsection (b) of this section, are available only insofar as they are implemented in accordance with other parts of the general statutes, state rules and regulations, federal law, the state Constitution and the United States Constitution. For purposes of this section, "homeless person" means any person who does not have a fixed or regular residence and who may live on the street or outdoors, or in a homeless shelter or another temporary residence.
(b) Each homeless person in this state has the right to:
Move freely in public spaces, including on public sidewalks, in public parks, on public transportation and in public buildings without harassment or intimidation from law enforcement officers in the same manner as other persons;
Have equal opportunities for employment;
Receive emergency medical care;
Register to vote and to vote;
Have personal information protected;
Have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her personal property; and
Receive equal treatment by state and municipal agencies.
(c) Each municipality shall conspicuously post in the usual location for municipal notices a notice entitled "HOMELESS PERSON'S BILL OF RIGHTS" that contains the text set forth in subsection (b) of this section.
On August 22, 2013 Illinois became the second state to adopt a homeless bill of rights. 
Excerpt from Illinois bill SB 1210
Section 10. Bill of Rights.
(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:
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 housing status;
the right to equal treatment by all State and municipal agencies, without discrimination on the basis of housing status;
the right not to face discrimination while seeking or 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;
the right to emergency medical care free from discrimination based on his or her housing status;
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;
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
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" has the same meaning as that contained in Section 1-103 of the Illinois Human Rights Act.
State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) introduced a Homeless Person's Bill of Rights to the California Assembly in December 2012. In May 2013, the Appropriations Committee postponed debate until January 2014. Assemblymember Ammiano said in a statement that his bill was suspended largely because of the costs of setting up new infrastructure and enforcing the new rules. A report by the Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee estimates that setting up hygiene centers across the state would cost $216 million, with ongoing operating costs of $81 million annually. The report also estimates that setting up facilities for annual law enforcement reports would cost $8.2 million, with ongoing operating costs of $4.1 million annually. Without providing estimates, the report notes that other costs, some potentially significant, include those associated with the right to counsel conferred to the homeless for defending against infractions, and those associated with defending against lawsuits brought against cities by the homeless alleging violations of rights conveyed under the bill. 
^Robert Wengronowitz, "Lessons From Occupy Providence", The Sociological Quarterly 54(2), March 2013. Accessed via Wiley; 3 July 2013. "OP would not have been able to negotiate the deal with the City without the decades-long effort by RICH and later RIHAP to create organizational infrastructure—for example, communication networks, development of coalitional relationships, and media contacts. In fact, RICH's infrastructure itself signiﬁcantly supported the founding of RIHAP. Rhode Island became the ﬁrst state to pass a Homeless Bill of Rights in late June 2012, an action less likely without RICH, RIHAP, OP, and their ability to work across differences. For instance, some RICH members were concerned that OP was "too radical," but OP was fortunate in that RICH considers seriously the concept of coalition building. Ryczek (2011, capitalization in original) defended the collaboration this way to RICH members: 'Coalitions rarely see eye to eye on each and every single factor concerning their common interests... We certainly...will not agree on all issues. Yet, where common ground and common goals DO exist it must be our role to move on such commonalities.'"