Jun 28, 2024

Governor Newsom statement on Supreme Court’s homeless encampments decision

SACRAMENTO  — Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of City of Grants Pass v. Johnson:

“Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court provides state and local officials the definitive authority to implement and enforce policies to clear unsafe encampments from our streets. This decision removes the legal ambiguities that have tied the hands of local officials for years and limited their ability to deliver on common-sense measures to protect the safety and well-being of our communities.

“California remains committed to respecting the dignity and fundamental human needs of all people and the state will continue to work with compassion to provide individuals experiencing homelessness with the resources they need to better their lives.”

Governor Gavin Newsom

Prior rulings by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have left few and fragmented options for local governments to confront the homelessness crisis. 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.

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. California is investing $1 billion as part of the state’s Encampment Resolution Fund (ERF). These dollars are specifically earmarked to help move individuals experiencing homelessness out of dangerous encampments and into shelter and housing.  

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