U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Grants Pass v. Johnson Guts Civil Rights Protections of Unhoused People Nationwide; Lawsuit Against the City of San Francisco Will Proceed

joint statement from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in the San Francisco Bay Area and American Civil Liberties Union-Northern California

San Francisco, Calif. – Today, in a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Grants Pass v. Johnson, a case that had barred cities from citing and arresting people simply for being homeless. This ruling is a stark departure from established legal precedent regarding the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

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SCOTUS Tears Up Unhoused People’s Constitutional Rights

statement by the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP)

Washington D.C. – The Supreme Court issued a decision today in the landmark case Grants Pass v. Johnson. This case centers on whether governments can fine and arrest unhoused people who have no other choice but to sleep outside. As expected, our Dred Scott-loving Supreme Court diluted people’s 8th Amendment protections against Cruel and Unusual punishment OR …The court upheld this ruling deciding it is indeed cruel and unusual punishment to cite and arrest people for lodging when no shelter is available  

Lower courts had ruled that Grants Pass practices were in fact found to be unconstitutional as they were arresting and citing unhoused people for camping,

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court Make it Easier for Cities to Banish Us?  Maybe, But We Will Not Disappear! 

by the Western Regional Advocacy Project

On April 22, 2024 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Gloria Johnson. The case determines if the U.S. Constitution allows for local governments to fine, arrest, and jail people for living outside, when they have nowhere else to go. Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) members are planning a day of action on April 22, 2024 to speak out for the rights of unhoused people to exist,

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Coalition on Homelessness et al vs. San Francisco: Lawyers Make the Case for Stopping Sweeps

San Francisco’s response to unsheltered homelessness has long been on the radar of local and national media, and it’s pinging more frequently, partly because of a lawsuit that the Coalition on Homelessness has filed against the City.

Last year, a federal judge ruled that the City can not arrest or issue citations to people in homeless encampments without a real and specific offer of shelter while the case is in litigation.

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CARE Court in California: A Primer

Defund Police. Invest in Community. House. Feed. Empathy. Listen. Teach.

by Gloria A Lightheart

In September 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1338, creating a mental health court. The Community Assistance Recovery & Empowerment (CARE) court program empowers judges to compel people with mental health disabilities or substance abuse issues to accept psychiatric treatment and medication. The legislature approved the bill on a near-unanimous vote.

In the new system, a court-appointed conservator would make financial and health care decisions,

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Coalition on Homelessness et al v. San Francisco: One Week, Two Court Dates

Counter rally outside Browning Courthouse in San Francisco on August 23, 2023

A lawsuit over San Francisco’s sweeps of homeless encampments continued as two separate hearings were held last week. 

Those hearings may end up being a prelude to more action in court if the lawsuit comes to trial. Along with seven unhoused plaintiffs, the homeless advocacy organization Coalition on Homelessness—which also publishes Street Sheet—accused City workers of violating unhoused residents’ rights and destroying their property while clearing camps off the streets.

On August 23,

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Anti-Homeless Violence

The New Lynchings of the 21st Century

Updated on May 16th to reflect current developments

What does Walgreens carry on its shelves that could be worth a human life? Banko Brown was a young Black trans activist who had been unhoused in San Francisco for a decade. In his volunteer work and community organizing with the Young Women’s Freedom Center, he consistently advocated for basic access to services, and was beloved by his community. 

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Dismantling Anti-Black Racism in the U.S.

by Martine Khumalo

Black people in America have clear visions for how to achieve change when it comes to racial inequality. This vision includes supporting significant reforms to, or complete overhauls of, several American institutions to ensure fair treatment, among them the criminal justice system and  political engagement and voting. This vision also involves supporting Black businesses to advance Black communities and providing reparations in the forms of educational, business and homeownership assistance. 

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40 Years of Organizing to End Homelessness

by Paul Boden and Western Regional Advocacy Project

Art Hazelwood (WRAP Minister of Culture)

Forty years ago, the federal government slashed affordable housing budgets of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Department of Agriculture, marking the beginning of the contemporary crisis of homelessness.  It has become political fodder for local politicians to say they will end homelessness “in this city” with complete disregard for the fact that no one city created homelessness,

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Disability Apartheid

by Anonymous

Few people believe disability rights is a racial justice issue. On face value, it isn’t. But did you know, although less than 3% of the total population,  Black San Franciscans are twice as likely to be disabled than white San Franciscans?

How is this possible? How can somebody’s race make them more likely to be disabled or not?

While I don’t have all the answers to that question,

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