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  • Writer's pictureChristian Service Center

JOIN US MONDAY, APRIL 22: Homelessness is a tragedy. It shouldn’t be a crime.


As the U.S. Supreme Court takes up Grants Pass v. Johnson, join community leaders as they stand up for humane, effective and proven alternatives to incarceration.


When: Monday, April 22, 11:00 a.m.


Where: George C. Young Federal Building and Courthouse, corner of W. Central Blvd. & N. Division Ave.,  Orlando, 32805


What: Nonprofit and community leaders speaking out as the U.S. Supreme Court begins hearing arguments in Grants Pass v. Johnson, considered the most significant Supreme Court case in decades about the rights of people who are homeless. The case will determine whether communities are allowed to punish people for things like sleeping outside with a pillow or blanket, even when there are no shelter beds available.


Background: In 2013, the city of Grants Pass, in southern Oregon, began aggressively enforcing a set of ordinances that made it unlawful to sleep anywhere on public property with so much as a blanket to survive cold nights, even when shelter was unavailable. City leaders openly said the goal was to make it as uncomfortable as possible for people to be homeless so that they would move to other jurisdictions and stay there.


Grants Pass is a city of roughly 40,000 population, but growth nearly doubled between 2000 and 2020. Rents and home prices rose suddenly and sharply, leading to a noticeable increase in homelessness.


In cities across the nation, advocates for our unhoused neighbors will host rallies and speeches in support of lower court rulings that say citizens cannot be arrested for sleeping outside when there is no reasonable alternative. Despite those rulings, increasingly, communities have arrested people for such acts as sleeping, sitting, camping and lying down – inhumane and ultimately counter-productive ways of dealing with the lack of affordable housing that is driving homelessness.


Local experts and advocates including leadership of the Christian Service Center for Central Florida, Homeless Services Network of Central Florida and others will discuss the costs and trauma of arrest, Central Florida’s severe lack of affordable housing, the number of working adults who are homeless, recent trends in Florida and other states, alternatives to arrest, and the data on arrests vs. housing programs.

Questions? Please call or text Eric Gray at 407-797-7755 or email egray@christianservicecenter.org



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