Ban On HOMELESSNESS Upheld By Supreme Court – MAJOR Changes Underway

This past Friday, the Supreme Court announced they would allow cities to continue enforcing bans on homeless individuals sleeping outside in public places even when shelter space is unavailable, ruling that such laws do not violate protection from cruel and unusual punishment under the Constitution.

The result pleased Mayor London Breed, who said that the declaration will help boost her city’s efforts to clear out numerous tents now choking its sidewalks. 

“With this opportunity, we’ll be able to do more to clean and clear our streets — especially for those who are refusing shelter and services,” Breed said during a press conference at City Hall. “This is very helpful to us as a city.”

“My hope is that we can clear them all,” she said when asked by the San Francisco Chronicle how many tents might be cleared as a result of the court’s decision.

Breed reaffirmed that the city has an obligation to keep shelter and support available for those in need, while admitting law enforcement may be used more aggressively than it is currently on encampments.

Before Thursday’s 6-3 ruling by the Supreme Court, a decision of another court blocked cities in recent years from enforcing anti-camping laws when shelters ran out of bed space.

The case began in Grants Pass, Oregon, where authorities wanted to fine people sleeping outdoors as tents took over public parks.

Homelessness in the Bay Area, and especially San Francisco has become worse than it was prior to the pandemic that approximately 38,000 people are homeless on any given night—a 35% increase since 2019.

The city is also facing one of the worst drug crises in its history. Last year the city saw countless records for fatal overdoses. Preliminary numbers from the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office show that 752 people succumbed to drug overdoses in San Francisco between January and November, an all-time high.

Those are the kinds of images we continue to see – drawn from what appear to be some of LA’s least prosperous neighborhoods, filled with homeless people openly using drugs and living in squalor on city streets.

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