• Show Notes

Dear Listener,

Many Americans seem to concern themselves with homelessness only when unhoused people are visible on our streets. Otherwise, it’s out of sight, out of mind. 

You are to be forgiven if you missed news of the Supreme Court’s hearing in the case of City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson last week when news about prosecutions against Donald Trump dominated the headlines. In that case, the Court is considering whether city ordinances prohibiting “camping” on public property violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The law’s challengers argue that the ordinances criminalize the mere status of being homeless – a situation often beyond one’s control. 

In many of our nation’s cities, homelessness is a pressing issue intertwined with public health and safety. For unhoused individuals, a place to sleep is essential for their survival. The issue has no easy solutions, but it demands our urgent attention. The overshadowing of this case by the Trump trials seemed rather symbolic of our society’s indifference to homelessness unless the issue confronts us directly.