MIL-OSI USA: Governor Newsom Statement on Amicus Brief Filed with the United States Supreme Court on Homeless Encampments

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Source: US State of California 2

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today filed an amicus brief in City of Grants Pass v. Johnson, a case that is before the United States Supreme Court.

Prior rulings by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have left few and fragmented options for local governments to confront the homelessness crisis. As a result, California’s elected officials have found themselves embroiled in years-long lawsuits, blocking even the most common-sense efforts to clear encampments that pose health and safety concerns, without direction on what they can and cannot do to make spaces occupied by unhoused people safer for those within and near them.

“Encampments are dangerous – period. California is investing billions to build housing and provide the services needed to get people out of tents and into safer situations. However, our best efforts are being blocked because of sweeping injunctions that delay progress and fail to provide any consistent guidance for local authorities to abide by.

“The United States Supreme Court can establish a balance that allows enforcement of reasonable limits on camping in public spaces, while still respecting the dignity of those living on our streets. By setting out a clear rule, the Court can empower state and local governments to enact and enforce compassionate policies that will help save lives, strengthen their communities, and ultimately work to stem the tide of this homelessness crisis.” Governor Gavin Newsom

The Governor has consistently called for clarity from the courts and previously filed a separate amicus brief requesting the United States Supreme Court to hear this case.

Since taking office, Governor Newsom has worked to address the root causes of homelessness. Working with the Legislature, the Governor has increased state spending to address homelessness from $500 million to an unprecedented $15.3 billion. He has also allocated $750 million specifically for local jurisdictions to assist unhoused individuals living in encampments.

Additionally, the Administration launched two nation leading programs, Roomkey and Homekey, which collectively helped to house 71,000 individuals. The Governor also signed into law the CARE Act, a new statewide framework for individuals with the most severe mental health and substance use disorders to provide them with housing, treatment and other vital services.