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December 26, 2019 | January 02, 2020 | 331 total views

On December 16, 2019, the Supreme Court decided not to take up an appeal in the Martin v. Boise case, letting a ruling from lower circuit court stand. The circuit court ruling stated that cities cannot impose criminal penalties on people for sleeping outdoors when there is insufficient shelter or housing available as an alternative. The ruling reinforces that the priority for cities should be to provide housing, shelter, and services to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, rather than focusing on enforcement responses that can disrupt a person’s journey back in to housing. For cities seeking guidance on best practices in their responses to unsheltered homelessness, LAHSA has issued “Guiding Principles and Practices for Local Responses to Unsheltered Homelessness,” which can be read here.

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