Criminalizing Homelessness Doesn’t Work, but the Supreme Court Might Do It Anyway

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: California, New York, Florida and Washington State Legislators

Homelessness in America is a critical issue, with over a half a million people on any given night sleeping in the streets, cars, and other unsuitable conditions. This week, the United States Supreme Court will decide on a pivotal case that could lead to the criminalization of homelessness across the country. We must urge states with high unhoused populations to get ahead of this impending crisis and build affordable housing!

Sign this petition to demand that California, New York, Florida and Washington set a precedent by building more affordable housing!

More than half the people experiencing homelessness in the country are in four states: California, New York, Florida and Washington. Now, the Grants Pass v. Johnson case before the Supreme Court could allow local governments to penalize these individuals, treating the symptom rather than addressing the causes of homelessness.

At stake is whether our government will continue to treat the homeless with dignity or push them into the shadows through fines, jail time, and criminal records, merely for lacking a home.

On top of the harm that comes with criminalizing unhoused people, history shows us it doesn't work. In fact, it's economically wasteful. It costs more to police and incarcerate the homeless than to provide them with housing. This approach is like the antiquated debtors' prisons, punishing individuals for circumstances beyond their control, trapping them in a cycle of poverty and homelessness.

To actually address the rising homelessness crisis, we must demand comprehensive and compassionate strategies that include increased funding for affordable housing, mental health services, and support systems that address the root causes of homelessness.

Sign this petition to urge our leaders to oppose the criminalization of homelessness and invest in humane, effective solutions!

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