Saturday, August 29, 2015

Feeling Better

The doctor had me sit up on the examination table, and then asked me to lift my leg up on the pull out table extension.  He put his hand under my calf to help.  As soon as he touched it he said, "Whoa!"  I took that as a sign that this 60 year old doctor had never seen a leg so swollen.  Both of my legs were the same.   One of the prescriptions he gave me was to help reduce the swelling, and after 4 days it's come down a lot.  Still there are issues with my legs, some swelling and stiffness.  They are still red and radiate heat, and they are still weak.  I can't walk very far yet.   I think it has helped that I'm now able to lie down at times during the day, as well as sleeping at night..

I am also taking meds for high blood pressure, although my bp isn't really high.  It's just constantly at an elevated rate 155/110.  Thing is, it's been that way for decades, and doesn't seem to hinder my activities.  Regardless, that med as me slowed down a little.

I'll be getting some anti depression/anxiety medication soon too.  And I'll be meeting with the head of the psych dept for an evaluation soon as well, so to start up therapy again.   Abungalow on the beach would probably be enough therapy for me :) .

The end goal of this program I am now is in to get me into permanent housing of some kind.  That would be nice.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Medical Me

One of the many requirements for getting a bed at the shelter is a TB test. Well, one thing led to another this morning at the clinic and I've had blood work done, and I'm now on a high blood pressure medication and a diuretic to hopefully reduce the swelling in my legs. This afternoon I will also get a chest Xray. California's state medical insurance is a million times better than Tennessee's, which is nearly none existent. That's probably the best reason for me to stay here in San Diego for a while.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I Am In

When I arrived at the shelter for my one night stay on a cot, I was informed that a bed had become available and I was assigned to a permanent program bed.  I'll be able to stay in this program for up to 90 days.   There are many services available here that might help me find a permanent place to live.

Reaching The Bottom

Despite the respite I had last week, after three days back on the streets I was feeling as miserable as ever, and having a very hard time staying awake.  I can now estimate how long I sleep while in McDonalds by the amount of drool I find on my t-shirt when I wake up.   After all this time of waiting for an outreach social worker to find me on the street, I went looking for one myself.   Found Kelly McKnight who is "the" homeless outreach worker for San Diego.  I talked with her and some people from PATH.  They will allow me to have a cot in their facility tonight,  and will try to get me a permanent spot in their 3 month program.

It is interesting how different people have different thresholds for the difficulties of living on the streets.  Mine is pretty low compared to some others.  How some people can go for years on the streets without ever requesting the relief of shelter is beyond me.  They are the true survivors - although, they'd be better off not surviving without help so much.  God bless em.

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Monumental Achievement For Homeless People in Nashville

Making use of crowd sourcing, a church minister was able to raise over 50,000 dollars for the creation of a micro home village for the homeless.  Read about it at

Two Days

I'm just finishing up two days of peace and quiet, privacy and sleep.  thank you Kathy.  The timing couldn't have been better as I developed a bit of a stomach bug yesterday, which would have been hell to live with on the street.  Feeling better this morning.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


At the end of my rope, a good friend has put me up in a hotel for the next two nights.  I'll be back in a couple days.

Monday, August 17, 2015

How Homeless

Some people think that you can motivate homeless people to become regular citizens by punishing them.   But that just doesn't work.  There's nothing you can do to a homeless person that's worse than being homeless - certainly not jail.  Jail is a step up from homelessness.

Homeless people are suffering, that's because homelessness is an illness Punishment has no healing properties.  Punishing homeless people only makes people move to other areas, which is what most complainers about homelessness want.  They don't really care about ending homelessness, they just don't want homeless people near  them.What kind of sick and twisted people do you have to be to purposely make people suffer? Do we punish people for getting cancer?  No!  We actually move mountains for cancer patients so to make them as comfortable as possible. As much as possible we carry their burdens for them.  It only makes sense that we do the same for the homeless.

Every newly homeless person struggles against homelessness, and it is only after much futile struggling that they may eventually lose the desire to be a part of the larger society.  Is it any wonder, considering how society treats them?  But it is necessary for a homeless person to have that desire, if they are every going to overcome their homelessness.  So, society must reinstall that desire back into those homeless people.

Homeless people need to feel welcomed, and that they have a place in society where they are accepted for the people they are.   I'm not saying that society has to accept the bad behavior that some homeless poeple engage in.  Actually, real acceptance will motivate homeless people to behave better in society.

So, what kind of things can we do to help the homeless feel accepted, so that they rejoin society?  One thing that has worked really well is employment through selling homeless/street newspapers.  check out what happened in Nashville with The Contributor.   Or, do you operate a pet rescue?  Allow some homeless people to volunteer to do rescue work.  These days, pet programs are even being used in prisons to help reform prisoners.  Whatever it is that you do, that adds quality to your life, see if there isn't a way that homeless people can be included.

Sleeping In Public Is Legal

The United States Supreme Court declared recently that laws banning the homeless from sleeping in public areas, when there is no 0ther place available to them for sleeping, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment - a violation of the 8th Amendment.

Of course this does not mean that homeless people can now sleep outside without being harassed by local police.  It will take time for this opinion to filter its way down to the local level.  It will require the homeless to fight any tickets and arrests they receive for sleeping.and then bringing this SCOTUS opinion to the attention of the attending judge.   But the homeless would most certrainly win their cases.   But beware,  you must also prove that the city you are in does not have enough shelter beds available for all the homeless residing there.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

No Sleep Zone

I have gone long periods without sleep before, and with my apnea my body is fairly accustom to not getting sleep, or at least good sleep, for long periods of time.  Well, it's now Sunday afternoon and I haven't slept since I woke up Tuesday morning.  I don't even feel sleepy.  Sure, a few times I have  nodded off  while doing something like writing a blog post, but I always wake back up again just a few minutes later.   Given that my body is in "stay awake" mode, whenever I finally find myself in a place to get sleep, I probably won't be able to.

Like today, I knew it would be a long shot, but I went to the beach with my tent.  There were many other tents along the beach.  I set mine up and crawled inside, and although a bit warm, I figured it would be conducive to sleep, but I lied there for an hour without a single sleepy feeling.  After this first hour passed, I then opened the front flap to let a breeze come through.  And a few minutes later, the cops arrived on ATVs.  They told me that tents wee not allowed at the beach.  (oh what a long way we've come from the days where people could actually drive trailers onto the beach sand.)

Well, as I was taking my tent down a fellow homeless traveler came up and asked me what happened.  He told me that earlier today, at about 5:30 am, some friends had received tickets for sleeping on the beach.

Only the homeless could have such evil intent as to want to sleep on the beach, eh?

For about 65 dollars you could get me into the cheapest hotel in downtown for the night..  IM me for details about that.

Oh, one thing I did get today was a good sunburn.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Finding Truth

A few days ago I wrote something about truth. I thought I'd mention something about finding truth.  Some people say it's impossible to find, but I disagree.  I do admit though, that discovering truth can be difficult if you are not practiced in doing so.

 Describing how to find truth is easy, doing it may not be.   Of course, like anything, it gets easier the more you do it.

Your personal desires are the main obstacles in seeing the truth of things.  Rid yourself of your desires and the truth becomes clear.   Some personal desires are easy to find, others not so much.  But, all desires manifest themselves as agenda.   Determine your "agendas" and they will point you to your desires.  Then let them go.   Yes, that's the hard part.  We carry with us all sorts of political, religious and philosophical agendas.  Giving up your religious beliefs, or your political beliefs can seem impossible, but that's not really true.  It is because we attach our self identities to our beliefs, one must actually let go of what we think about our selves first.  And that's really hard for the ego to do.  But with practice it can be done.

At first it may seem like you are having to deny all that you hold dear, but at first that's not necessary.  All you have to do is allow yourself to see that believing in the opposite of your agenda is just as valid as the belief in your agenda.  If you are a liberal, you have to allow yourself to see the virtue in being conservative and vice versa.   Just know that if you are unable to do so, it's not because you can't, but because you don't want to, and so it is only yourself that is preventing you from see truth.

If you keep at it, eventually see yourself free from politics and religion, and all the other desires of mundane life, and the truth will shine through.

....did I just confuse you?

Christmas In Rochester

So, Rochester had a large tent city.  This past Christmas, the city passed out hotel vouchers to many living in the homeless tent city, so to spend the Holidays off the streets.  When most of the homeless were away from their tents, the mayor sent in bulldozers and leveled the camp, all without warning. 

If this doesn't remind us of Jesus's commandment to treat homeless people like shit, then nothing does.  video clearly shows homeless people's possessions being destroyed, all while a city official is saying that their belongings are being saved so to be claimed at a later date.  It's so sad that this did not gain more media attention when it happened.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Still Havent Slept

Going on about 80 hours without sleep now.  Legs are now more swollen than ever - lack energy.  Maybe I'll be dead soon.   Now that would be a relief. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Couple Nights Again

I wrote this the first night without sleep:  I'm now two and a half days without sleep.

Screwed Anew
Street Life Rule  # 324 – Never Argue With Crazy People
An                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     d when I say “crazy” I’m talking about the full blow hallucinating and fixated schizophrenic type.
It’s like trying to have a discussion with a drunk – no good will ever come of it.  It’s best to avoid them.
You might think he’s looking at you and talking to you, but in his mind, he does not see you, and is not really talking to you.  He sees and is talking to his hallucination, of which you are only the anchor. At this point he has mixed his hallucination with reality, and there is no rationalizing or reasoning with him.  He doesn’t really see you or even hear you, he only sees and hears his hallucination.  There’s a good chance  he sees you as a threat. and  If he gets himself worked up enough, he will react to thta threat he perceives within you.  Of course, most of the time, if you just ignore him,, his fixation on you will dissipate and his hallucination will transform to another subject, , much like the subject matter of dreams shifting from one random thing to the next. Sometimes that doesn’t happen and you should be prepared for it.
At the corner of 9th and C St, where, for the past several months i had been setting up my tent. By no means was this location ideal, but it was better than any other place I had tried.  One of my neighbors who sleeps in the unused side doorway of the YWCA, is one such schizophrenic – prone to having screaming fits in the middle of the night, sometimes changing his voice to that of a female who screams rape.  All of that doesn’t bother me, but lately he has become more fixated on me personally.   He’s been making random comments about me and my tent.  He has become increasingly irritated with me camping at that location.
Last night, as I neared my camping spot, I noticed his silloette as he walked across the street to the side I was on.  That was the first time I’d seen him move from the spot where he sleeps – not a good sign.  I could also hear him slapping his hands together.  It was not the sound of clapping but more of the motion a person makes as they are threatening to punch someone.  Once on my side of the street, he hide between cars in a parking lot, and after I passed by he reemerged and began stalking me from behind.  Each time that I looked back at him, he was a bit closer. Never saying anything, he kept slapping his hands together.
When I got to the spot where I set up the tent I looked over to see he was still eyeballing me, now from just across the street.  This was not a time for any cordialities.   I needed to leave and quickly.  I took the scissors from my pocket and kept them in my hand as I continued to walk away, pushing my cart along as I went.  The slapping noise stopped when I was a block away.  Still I kept walking.  The only though I had at that moment was, “where am I going to set up camp and sleep now?”
Eventually I made it to the 24 hour restroom facilities at the civic center and took a piss.  It was about 12:30am.   This area is popular with many homeless because of the restrooms there - a number of homeless people hang out around there, the majority of which are mentally ill, and hearing voices types.  They pace all night long on the sidewalk.  Sleep is not easy for them to achieve either.   I noticed that there seemed to be more people here than usual.  Then I remember that someone recently asked me about the homeless population downtown, if I’d notice any increase.  I hadn’t really paid all that much attention before, but from what I had seen recently, I’d say there was definitely an increase in the population, but by how much I could not say.

A Couple Observations.  There are a lot more seriously mentally ill people living on the streets in San Diego than Nashville, though pretty much on par with Las Vegas.  Also the turn around rate for the homeless in San Diego is much higher.   In Nashville you get to know the homeless for a while first, before they start disappearing.  In San Diego, every night is a brand new batch of crazy homeless people.  Where they go after their first night I don’t know, but I rarely see them a second time.

What Is Truth

A friend on facebook made the statement that True Freedom is a myth.

I replied: I think you have the wording mixed up a little. I believe that freedom is found in truth. There's even a quote somewhere in the bible that declares the truth will set you free. 

Only remember that "truth" is singular, it's many "variations" are misthruths

As you work to improve the accuracy of your perspective of life, the more truth you will become aware of, and the freeer you will become. It is not that true freedom is a myth but that it is impossible for humans to achieve perfect truth - much in the same way that the speed of light is impossible to achieve - we can always get a little closer to it.  

Using the "light is truth" metaphor, remember that there is light all around us, we even reflect light our selves. Truth resides within the light. Improve your focus on truth and you will become happy.


I will be completely out of money by tomorrow afternoon. - no more money for food or anything.


54 hours without sleep so far.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Calling It Quits and Sending The Rescue Flair

There comes a time during a project or venture, when you make all the assessments and determine that you can no longer go forward.   If I was rowing a boat across the Pacific, this is when I would radio in to be rescued.   I have not been able to achieve the goals i set for myself, which included becoming sustainable in some way out here.  I am exhausted and can go no farther.  Yes, it's a failure of sorts. Big deal, just add it to the pile of all my other failures.  I'm not bothered by that.   Regardless I've learned a lot being out here.  I've clocked more street homelessness than ever, and have seen big city homelessness up close and very personal.  San Diego is beautiful and worth what people pay to live out here.  It's a price tag that my SSI just cannot handle.  I will admit too that some things that have hindered me from making a go of it are my own issues.  Not only is housing expensive here, property managers are very strict, and things like having a past eviction become problematic.

I need help getting to some place off the street where I can  recouperate and rest up and fix my health problems. At the very least I need access to shelter on a daily basis, that isn't time limited or lottery based.  Nashville is the only place I know with a shelter like that.  That's the bare minimum.  What I really need is an apartment or at least a room that I could afford on my SSI.

If you can help me in this regard please contact me as soon as possible.  My row boat is sinking.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Homeless People In The News

Homelessness is a controversial issue for two reasons.  People have strong opinions about it. Those same people know almost nothing about it.

Because controversial issues drive the news media train, news media will almost always lead with the most controversial aspect of a news story.  That's why news stories that involve homeless people will often spend a good deal of it's column space to the fact that a homeless person was involved.  This is just as true in tv news as in any other.

There are many negative consequences to this approach, for the homeless, and whenever I get an opportunity to discuss the issue with people in the news industry, I give them an earful.  Such as was the case with yesterday's movie theater attack. (i may have been a bit harsh with the reporter, but I wanted to get my point across, besides, I'm an asshole)

I received an IM through facebook from a reporter with USAToday.  The following is the full exchange.
Anita Wadhwani 
Investigative Reporter at The Tennessean and Correspondent at USA TODAY 
(USATODAY) Kevin: I'm a reporter at The Tennessean. We are trying to confirm the shooter in the Antioch theater is a member of the homeless community and are looking for folks who might be familiar with his name. If you're available to talk, I can be reached at 615-259-8092 
(Me)i haven't been in Nashville in 2 years. sorry. 
of course the fact that he is homeless should have no bearing on the case - no other shooter has ever been homeless, but I'm sure that won't matter to you and you'll make an issue of him being homeless, making that your lead.  just know that by doing so, you make life all the more difficult for every other law abiding homeless person - you'll make it harder for homeless people to get work and housing because you'll be playing on people's fears instead of educating people about the realities of homelessness. oh, and stop referring to homeless people as a "community" There is no community of homeless people. 
(USATODAY)Kevin: I was interested in reaching out to see if people knew him here and could tell us about him, not to highlight the fact he is homeless just for the sake of it. In any case like this we try and find people who know the suspect and can tell us something about him/her - no matter their socio economic status 
(Me)yeah right - I've been dealing with homelessness for over 30 years. I know what the press does in these matters. You'd be better off talking to his family and to people who knew him outside of homelessness. LIke I said, there is no such thing as a homeless "community". People who are homeless are forced together to live in near proximity to each other only because society has designed things that way, not because of choice. Even when homeless people interact with each other, the likelihood of them actually learning something about each other is slim to none. Out of self preservation, if nothing else, homeless people are not inclined to be honest about themselves to other homeless people. Even if you got someone to talk to you about him, most likely you'd be getting bogus information - of course that wouldn't stop you from quoting your source, using that huge fact skipping loop hole ... "mr so and so said that the suspect, blah blah blah..." I think we're done here. Can't wait to read what you put in print.
It should be noted the the news articles that resulted did not, in fact, highlight the suspects "potential" homelessness, though it was mentioned. His mother, who had not seen him in 2 years reported him missing and believed that he might be homeless. His homelessness was not proven.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Homeless Bill Of Rights

,Below, I have posted the Homeless Bill of Rights that was submitted to the state of California legislature - it died in committee on a technicality just last year.  Feel free to use this as a template for your own homeless bill of rights to present to your local or state government.

This act shall be known and may be cited as the Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights and Fairness Act.
SEC. 2.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In the State of California, there has been a long history of discriminatory laws and ordinances that have disproportionately affected people with low incomes and who are without homes, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Jim Crow laws: After the Civil War, many states, especially in the south, passed laws denying African Americans basic human rights. In California, these laws also targeted Chinese immigrants. In San Francisco, Chinese residents were forced to live in one area of the city. The same segregation laws also prohibited interracial marriage between Chinese and non-Chinese persons.
(2) Ugly laws: In 1867, San Francisco was the first city in the country to pass a law making it illegal for people with “unsightly or disgusting” disabilities to appear in public. In many cities, these laws persisted until the 1970s.
(3) Anti-Okie laws: In 1937, California passed an Anti-Okie law that criminalized “bringing or assisting in bringing” extremely poor people into the state. The United States Supreme Court struck down the law in 1941, when it declared that these laws are in violation of the commerce clause, and therefore unconstitutional.
(4) Sundown town ordinances: Town policies and real estate covenants were aimed at preventing minorities, homeless persons, and other persons considered to be socially undesirable from remaining within city limits after sunset. Thousands of these towns existed prior to the federal Civil Rights Act of 1968, which made these ordinances and covenants illegal.
(5) Vagrancy laws: Vagrancy laws have been held to be discriminatory on their face because they criminalize a person’s status rather than a behavior. Nevertheless, these laws existed in California until the Legislature revised them in 1961.
(b) Act of living ordinances, often known as “quality of life ordinances” and other similar ordinances, are the modern reincarnations of laws of this kind. They are designed to force homeless people to flee local jurisdictions. These local ordinances result in de facto segregation as homeless people are forced out of specific jurisdictions or out of specific neighborhoods within jurisdictions. These practices tend to condemn large groups of inhabitants to dwell in segregated districts or under depressed living conditions that result in crowded, unsanitary, substandard, and unhealthful accommodations. Furthermore, these policies result in criminalization of homeless persons who do not choose, or are unable, to migrate.
(c) Today, in the state, many people are denied the following:
(1) Housing due to their status of being homeless, living in a shelter, a vehicle, the street, or the public domain.
(2) Employment due to their current status of being homeless or living in a shelter or a vehicle on the street.
(3) Housing and employment as a result of not having a fixed or residential mailing address or having a post office box as a mailing address.
(4) Equal protection of the laws and due process by law enforcement and prosecuting agencies.
(5) The ability to make certain purchases or enter certain contests as a result of not having a fixed or residential mailing address or having a post office box as a mailing address.
(6) Access to safe, clean restrooms, water, and hygienic supplies necessary to maintain health, safety, and dignity, especially with the proliferation of closures of public restrooms.
(d) Homeless persons are unfairly targeted by law enforcement, often resulting in the violation of homeless persons’ constitutional rights. Lacking the resources necessary to obtain adequate legal representation, homeless persons are often denied relief or damages through the courts.
(e) Homeless persons rarely have access to shelters, and when shelter is available, its conditions can be so poor as to jeopardize their health and physical and mental safety.
(f) Homeless persons are often forced to separate from loved ones, give up their personal property, abandon pets, and make other inhumane choices in order to access even minimal shelter.
(g) Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, and queer individuals often are forced to accept inappropriate or unsafe accommodations to access publicly funded emergency shelters.
(h) Children in homeless families are denied the ability to continue receiving education in their preferred school if their family’s shelter lies outside the boundaries of their former district.
(i) At the present time, many persons have been rendered homeless as a result of a deep and prolonged economic recession, a severe shortage of safe and affordable housing, a failed mental health system, and a shrinking social safety net.
(j) Section 1 of Article I of the California Constitution provides that
“[a]ll people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”
(k) Subdivision (a) of Section 7 of Article I of the California Constitution provides, in part, that “[a] person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denied equal protection of the laws... .”
(l) Concordant with this fundamental belief, a person should not be subject to discrimination based on his or her housing status, income level, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, or immigration status. Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to protect the rights of all Californians, regardless of their housing status, and to ameliorate the adverse effects of homelessness on people who have no home and on our communities.
(m) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would require all state agencies to use the same definition for “homeless persons or people” as follows:
(1) “Homeless” means those individuals or families who lack or are perceived to lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, or who have a primary nighttime residence in a shelter, on the street, in a vehicle, in an enclosure or structure that is not authorized or fit for human habitation.
(2) “Homeless” also means a person whose only residence is a residential hotel or who is residing anywhere without tenancy rights, and families with children staying in a residential hotel whether or not they have tenancy rights.
(n) It is the intent of the Legislature that publicly funded social and health care services be offered in a sufficient quantity to meet the population’s needs, without barriers, including geographical barriers, such as making locations inconvenient or creating screen-out barriers, or prohibiting access due to a person’s inability to provide identification or criminal justice history, or disability, in order that persons are reasonably able to reach and use that service.

SEC. 3.

 Part 2.2 (commencing with Section 53.1) is added to Division 1 of the Civil Code, to read:

For purposes of this part, the following definitions shall apply:

SEC. 5.SEC. 4.

 Section 11135 of the Government Code is amended to read:

 (a) No person in the State of California shall, on the basis of race, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, color,housing status,  genetic information, or disability, be unlawfully denied full and equal access to the benefits of, or be unlawfully subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity that is conducted, operated, or administered by the state or by any state agency, is funded directly by the state, or receives any financial assistance from the state. Notwithstanding Section 11000, this section applies to the California State University.
(b) With respect to discrimination on the basis of disability, programs and activities subject to subdivision (a) shall meet the protections and prohibitions contained in Section 202 of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12132), and the federal rules and regulations adopted in implementation thereof, except that if the laws of this state prescribe stronger protections and prohibitions, the programs and activities subject to subdivision (a) shall be subject to the stronger protections and prohibitions.
(c) (1) As used in this section, “disability” means any mental or physical disability, as defined in Section 12926.
(2) The Legislature finds and declares that the amendments made to this act are declarative of existing law. The Legislature further finds and declares that in enacting Senate Bill 105 of the 2001–02 Regular Session (Chapter 1102 of the Statutes of 2002), it was the intention of the Legislature to apply subdivision (d) to the California State University in the same manner that subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) already applied to the California State University, notwithstanding Section 11000. In clarifying that the California State University is subject to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), it is not the intention of the Legislature to increase the cost of developing or procuring electronic and information technology. The California State University shall, however, in determining the cost of developing or procuring electronic or information technology, consider whether technology that meets the standards applicable pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) will reduce the long-term cost incurred by the California State University in providing access or accommodations to future users of this technology who are persons with disabilities, as required by existing law, including this section, Title II of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 and following), et seq.),  and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794).
(d) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that the ability to utilize electronic or information technology is often an essential function for successful employment in the current work world.
(2) In order to improve accessibility of existing technology, and therefore increase the successful employment of individuals with disabilities, particularly blind and visually impaired and deaf and hard-of-hearing persons, state governmental entities, in developing, procuring, maintaining, or using electronic or information technology, either indirectly or through the use of state funds by other entities, shall comply with the accessibility requirements of Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794d), and regulations implementing that act as set forth in Part 1194 of Title 36 of the Federal Code of Regulations.
(3) Any entity that contracts with a state or local entity subject to this section for the provision of electronic or information technology or for the provision of related services shall agree to respond to, and resolve any complaint regarding accessibility of its products or services that is brought to the attention of the entity.
(e) As used in this section, “sex” and “sexual orientation” have the same meanings as those terms are defined in subdivisions (q) and (r) of Section 12926.
(f) As used in this section, “race, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, or disability” includes a perception that a person has any of those characteristics or that the person is associated with a person who has, or is perceived to have, any of those characteristics.
(g) As used in this section, “genetic information” has the same definition as in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 51 of the Civil Code.
(h) For purposes of this section, “housing status” means status as a “homeless person” as defined in Section 53.1 of the Civil Code.
 The Legislature finds and declares that the need to address discriminatory practices is a matter of statewide concern and is not a municipal affair, as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, this act shall apply to all cities, including charter cities.
The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.