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D.C. to decide if residents get right to overnight shelter

The District of Columbia elections board approved for the November ballot an initiative giving city residents the right to overnight shelter. Members of the Community for Creative Non-Violence, the homeless-rights group responsible for the measure, said it was the first time in the country that the issue would be put before the electorate.

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The initiative includes a provision to protect the city from becoming a haven for vagabonds. It says the district would not have to provide housing for a person who can be shown to have entered the city ''for the express purpose of obtaining free shelter.''

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