NATIONAL COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS WELCOMES SUPREME COURT DECISION TO ALLOW MARTIN V. BOISE CASE STAND. CALLS FOR NEW INVESTMENTS TO ADDRESS THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF STREET HOMELESSNESS
The National Coalition for the Homeless applauds the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a review of the Martin v. Boise case, leaving in place the decision by the 9th Circuit that people experiencing homelessness cannot be punished for camping or sleeping on public property where there are no adequate alternatives.
The Boise decision remains the law, at least in the states within the 9th U.S. Circuit. Criminalizing homelessness, in absence of reasonable and acceptable alternatives to sleeping on the streets, is unconstitutional, and cities and states must act to develop adequate shelter and affordable to address homelessness in their communities.
“Today is a victory for people experiencing homelessness”, said John Parvensky, Acting Executive Director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. “It is not a victory because people can legally sleep on the streets. Rather it is a victory because it will force communities to address homelessness proactively – through the development of an adequate supply of affordable housing, while providing safe and appropriate emergency shelter in the interim”.
NCH calls of the Federal Government to immediately and significantly increase its investment in both housing and services for those experiencing homeless as well as in broader pubic and affordable housing for those at risk of becoming homeless.