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Governing: Why a Supreme Court Case Isn’t Likely to Make a Dent in Homelessness

April 24, 2024

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the most consequential case regarding homelessness to come before it in decades. The case arises out of ordinances in place in Grants Pass, Ore., that forbid sleeping in certain public spaces and camping in any public space, defining a “campsite” as any place where bedding material is present. Violations come with fines and potential criminal penalties.

It will be months before a ruling comes. The court’s decision might affect the direction of policy in some jurisdictions, but no ruling on this issue before it could be expected to get to the heart of what it will take to end homelessness.