Press Releases

Public Counsel Issues Statement on Supreme Court Ruling in Grants Pass Homelessness Case

LOS ANGELES, JUNE 28, 2024—Public Counsel is deeply disappointed by today’s Supreme Court ruling in Grants Pass v. Johnson. This tragic decision will have devastating consequences, opening the door for cities in California and across the nation to criminalize the condition of being homeless and punish people for engaging in basic life activities, even when city leaders have failed to provide sufficient shelter for all community members in need.

In our amicus brief, we had joined with other civil rights lawyers to highlight that, with the largest unhoused population in the nation, Los Angeles’s repeated attempts over decades to criminalize unsheltered individuals have led only to greater poverty and more homelessness.

We know from experience that arresting people for being poor is not the path to social progress. Criminalizing homelessness doesn’t solve homelessness; only housing and supportive services can. Public Counsel is fighting every day to keep people housed and build the affordable housing units we need. We urge elected officials and city leaders across the nation to resist any calls for increased criminalization of homelessness in response to this ruling and instead focus on comprehensive and humane solutions that are proven to work.

Share via
Copy link