Community activists in Duluth gathered this week in memory of the 29 homeless people who they say died in the city this year, and they called on the City Council to take action.
The groups are pushing for a so-called Homeless Bill of Rights, which would help protect homeless people from harassment and make clear that being homeless isn't a crime, the Duluth News Tribune reported.
They might get their wish. Duluth City Councilor Sharla Gardner said she'll introduce a resolution next month that would establish a committee working to end homelessness, hunger and poverty.
Deb Holman, an outreach worker who works with the homeless, said many of them die before reaching their mid-40s. She said poverty and addiction are two big causes, and she said people need resources to help get them off the streets.
Holman said she'd like to see the community provide more long-term options for homeless individuals.
Steve Gallagher, 63, used to be homeless until he found accommodations a month ago. He recalled being chased away from places as though he were a criminal, and he said the answer is to help homeless people rather than hassle them.