The Supreme Court Leaves Homeless Women and Girls Nowhere to Sleep

Statement by National NOW President Christian F. Nunes 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Christian F. Nunes, National NOW President, issued the following statement in response to today’s Supreme Court decision in City of Grants Pass v. Johnson, upholding an Oregon city’s laws banning homeless residents from sleeping outdoors: 

“The Supreme Court has once again taken agency and autonomy away from people whose very right to live is under threat. Taking away the right to sleep is ‘unconscionable and unconstitutional’, Justice Sotomayor wrote in her dissent.  As an advocate for women and as a licensed clinical social worker and mental health professional, I agree.  

Out of 580,000 homeless people in shelters and on streets, approximately 38 percent are women and girls.  

They are paying the price for a system of economic development, historically with a discriminatory core that continues to prioritize investments in buildings over investing in people.  

NOW joined an amicus brief in this case because we know who bears the brunt of punitive ordinances that lower courts ruled amount to “cruel and unusual punishment.”  

Housing justice is gender justice. This Supreme Court ruling turns back the clock and turns out the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens into a cycle of housing insecurity.  It must not stand.” 


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