Can homeless people be fined for sleeping outside? A rural Oregon city asks the US Supreme Court | AP News

In the Oregon mountain town of Grants Pass, a fierce fight over park space has become a battleground for a much larger, national debate on homelessness that has reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

The town’s case, set to be heard April 22, has broad implications for how not only Grants Pass, but communities nationwide address homelessness, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public.

It has made the town of 40,000 the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis, and further fueled the debate over how to deal with it.

Full story: Can homeless people be fined for sleeping outside? A rural Oregon city asks the US Supreme Court | AP News

3 Replies to “Can homeless people be fined for sleeping outside? A rural Oregon city asks the US Supreme Court | AP News”

  1. Treating homelessness with fast, superficial solutions is like putting a band-aid over a huge wound in the same context that it may momentarily fix the issue, but it fails to address the underlying causes of the problem at hand. When a city opts to make homelessness uncomfortable rather than tackling it head-on, they just contribute to the hardships and suffering of those who are already unfortunate. It ignores the systemic factors that contribute to the homelessness and, in this case, turns the homeless into scapegoats. While the drug usage and substance abuse crisis is high among the homeless population, it cannot simply be seen as a reason to “get rid” of the homeless; it needs to be studied and analyzed so that comprehensive strategies are created in order to help. But doing that only begs the question, what are the first steps a city would need to take in order to help the homeless? Would it be cutting down on the building of new apartments that are overpriced (i.e. Charlotte, NC) and instead renovate older buildings into centers/shelters? Would it be designating a certain area of the city for the homeless to use (almost as if they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind)?

    1. I agree with you Jirah. Trying to use drugs as a reason to get rid if the homeless is an ineffective way to treat the problem. They are people just like we are and by treating them as anything less than that makes us the problem. There is a better solution to solving homelessness than by giving them a fine and telling them to move. There is an underlying cause and we need to find a solution that helps people.

    2. I agree with you Jirah, homelessness is a big problem in our country and our government is doing a really bad job of handling this situation. They make the homeless out to be the boogeymen and a lot of people in our country say they support the homeless but behind closed doors, they do not care. Like you said if we want to help and solve the problem of homelessness we do need to look at the root causes such as a lot of veterans are homeless and suffer from PTSD, or substance abuse is a huge problem with the homeless so there needs to be readily accessible addiction centers for these individuals. There are many things we can do to help work on this issue.

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