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Boise homeless shelters respond to Supreme Court decision allowing public sleeping ban

A white bunkbed with a grey mattress and two folded blue and beige towels sits across from another white bunkbed with orange bedding.
Yasin Ozturk
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the city of Boise and said it couldn’t ban camping or sleeping on public property in the judicial district.

Grants Pass, Oregon appealed the case to the Supreme Court who in a 6-3 ruling decided in favor of the city to ban the use of blankets and pillows while sleeping outside.

Interfaith Sanctuary Executive Director Jodi Peterson-Stigers says she wasn’t shocked by the Supreme Court’s decision, but she was still heartbroken.

“How is that a solution? In what world is that solving homelessness, and caring about people in our community that oftentimes, for no wrongdoing on their behalf, they find themselves homeless?” Peterson-Stigers said in an interview.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean responded to the decision in a statement saying that “criminalizing homelessness has never, and will never, solve the problems associated with homelessness.”

Local homeless shelters like Interfaith Sanctuary say they will continue to offer shelter and support to homeless individuals, but stressed the ruling only adds pressure to an already-overwhelmed system.

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