Sweeping Decision

story and photos by Jeremiah Hayden, Street Roots

As the U.S. Supreme Court considers Grants Pass v. Johnson, there’s work to do to address homelessness, regardless of outcome

Cassy Leach woke up early on April 22, the day the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Grants Pass v. Johnson across the country in Washington, D.C. 

That morning, Leach, Mobile Integrative Navigation Team, or MINT,


Grants Pass v. Johnson Homelessness Case to Go Before U.S. Supreme Court

story and photos by Jeremiah Hayden, Street Roots

Homeless residents in Grants Pass shelter in tents in parks, including Morrison Park, despite the threat of civil and criminal penalties.

Laura Gutowski resides just down the street from the Grants Pass home that she lived in for 25 years. Her son used to play baseball in Morrison Centennial Park, where she now lives in a tent not far from the diamond.


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,


Advocates Indict San Francisco’s Sweeps Policies Before U.S. Supreme Court

A coalition of current and former San Francisco officials and civic organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in advance of a hearing on whether cities could penalize existing while homeless even when no shelter is available. Members of the coalition and their counsel, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, announced the filing in a press conference on Zoom.



American Made: Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Matthew Desmond on How Society’s Well Off Benefits from Other People’s Poverty

Man lying down next to shopping cart in a store

by Nathan Poppe

Matthew Desmond has lived through or lived alongside poverty for much of his life. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and sociology professor has made it his latest mission to focus not only on the lives of the poor in America but also how the rest of the country persistently benefits from them. His new book Poverty, By America lays out how many lives are made small to make room for others to grow,


COVID’s Not Over!

When COVID-19 first hit the streets of San Francisco in 2020, the response was dramatic. People with housing began to shelter in place, mutual aid networks sprung up, and tenants went on rent strike. While San Francisco publicly spotlighted its shelter-in-place hotel program, which offered private rooms to about 1,500 unhoused people, many unsheltered San Franciscans were left to fend for themselves as shelters closed down and services shuttered their doors. During the two and a half years that the program operated,


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,


The Real-world Impact of Social Security’s Crackdown on Benefits

For three decades, I have relied on Social Security benefits to put a roof over my head, to put food in my belly, and to provide much needed medical care. I have valid, documented reasons that I am entitled to these benefits. However, for over a year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration sent me harassing communications, threatening to cut me off should I fail to comply with their demands. 


Early SF Homeless Numbers Down — Shelter-in-place Hotels, Prop. C Cited as Factors

San Francisco got a sneak peek last month of the results from its 2022 homeless point-in-time count, which showed a drop in some kinds of homelessness. Advocates say directing public money into certain programs played a key role.

The count indicated a significant drop in the number of unsheltered homeless people and chronically homeless people, as well as a large bump in the number of people staying in shelters and transitional housing.