Statement on U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Grants Pass v. Johnson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 28, 2024

Statement from Northwest Housing Alternatives on U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Grants Pass v. Johnson

PORTLAND, ORE. Today Board Vice Chair Kelsey Heilman and Executive Director Trell Anderson of Northwest Housing Alternatives, an affordable housing nonprofit in the Pacific Northwest, issued the following media statement on today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Oregon case of Grants Pass v. Johnson on the rights of people who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness to sleep in public spaces:

“Northwest Housing Alternatives is deeply troubled to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of targeting and systemically punishing people experiencing homelessness. Everyone deserves a safe place to sleep at night. We know in our collective conscience that there are not enough shelters or affordable housing options in our region—and across the country. If any one of us had a family member experience homelessness, we would want them to be treated with dignity and support, not taken to jail.

The U.S. Supreme Court just made it more treacherous than ever before to be an unhoused member of our country. This ruling will needlessly criminalize and dehumanize women, seniors, Veterans, the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color who experience homelessness at disproportionate rates. Children could be separated from their parents for just being a homeless family. The ruling allows for local communities to make decisions that not only impact individuals, but also local systems such as public health, law enforcement, and the courts—already overburdened. Instead of reinforcing an upstream approach to tackling the economic issues of homelessness, the ruling allows local communities to shun responsibility.

The ruling just made the nonprofit mission-focused work of Northwest Housing Alternatives that much more important in supporting families experiencing homelessness and providing opportunity through housing. Fortunately in Oregon, lawmakers had the foresight and compassion to enact state law that protect families from the harshest impacts of the ruling.”

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About Northwest Housing Alternatives

Founded in 1982, Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) is the leading not-for-profit developer of affordable housing in Oregon. Our mission is to create opportunity through housing. To that end, NHA develops, builds, and manages rental housing designed for Oregonians with extremely limited incomes; most NHA households earn less than $16,000 per year. These homes help families live healthy and stable lives, allow older adults to age in place, and give people with special needs a dignified residence. Along with providing affordable housing, NHA provides services that connect tenants to critical health and community resources, work to prevent homelessness before it begins, and offer emergency shelter and services for families experiencing homelessness. Learn more at nwhousing.org

Media Contact:
Ariane Le Chevallier
Ariane@lechevallierstrategies.com
971-201-1214