LOS ANGELES, JUNE 28, 2024 – We are deeply troubled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Johnson v. City of Grants Pass, which upholds the ability of governments to invoke criminal penalties and other punitive measures on people experiencing homelessness for sitting, sleeping, and lying, and using basic protective measures such as blankets and cardboard boxes, even when there are no suitable shelter options available. This ruling fails to recognize the inhumane conditions faced by our community members without shelter. By allowing the criminalization of basic survival activities, this decision perpetuates a cycle of poverty and instability, making it even harder for individuals to access the help they need to get back on their feet.

John Maceri, CEO of The People Concern, states, “I want to be clear that The People Concern firmly stands against the criminalization of people experiencing homelessness. We know the way to end homelessness is permanent housing paired with supportive services. We will continue to advocate for real solutions to homelessness in our community and nationwide.”

Despite this national setback, we remain committed to working with our partners to safeguard and promote service-led approaches in Los Angeles County and statewide. Our mission remains steadfast: to ensure that everyone has access to safe, stable housing and the services necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. We will continue to advocate fiercely for policies that address the root causes of homelessness and provide meaningful support to our unhoused community. This ruling underscores the urgent need for a sustained local focus on humane, effective solutions that prioritize housing and support over punishment.

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