A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Funders Together Condemns Supreme Court Decision

Today, the Supreme Court announced their decision on City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson and ruled in favor of jurisdictions seeking to arrest, ticket, or fine people for experiencing homelessness. Funders Together condemns this decision.

This inhumane ruling, which goes against the values of nearly three-quarters of Americans, will make homelessness worse in Grants Pass and nationwide. The decision rolls back the 2019 Martin v. Boise precedent, claiming it is neither cruel nor unusual punishment to fine, ticket, or arrest people experiencing homelessness who are using survival items like blankets, cardboard, or pillows to rest in public spaces, even when no alternative shelter is available. Funders Together to End Homelessness unapologetically support policies and solutions that are rooted in humanity, choice, and the understanding that everyone deserves a safe place to call home. 

"Funders Together recognizes the blatant racism in this decision: with homelessness disproportionately affecting people of color across the country, the Supreme Court is facilitating further mass incarceration of people of color," said Amanda Andere, CEO of Funders Together to End Homelessness. 

"As leaders in philanthropy, we must encourage our local and federal officials to account for the outsized impact this decision will have on low-income people of color and act swiftly to support community organizers and community-based service providers in accommodating the increased needs stemming from this decision."

We will always stand with our unhoused neighbors. We join our partners and the plaintiffs, Gloria Johnson and John Logan, in grieving this loss. In their honor, as well as that of Debra Blake, an original plaintiff who has since passed away, and countless others who have given of themselves to fight the injustices facing people experiencing homelessness, Funders Together redoubles our commitment to policy advocacy that advances racial and housing justice. 

Call to Action

Funders Together will continue to share our analysis in weeks to come. We are
hosting a funder call on Monday, July 1 to debrief this decision and hear your questions. We are also leading a deeper strategy conversation at our 2024 Funders Institute on July 8-9 in Washington, D.C. about how we apply lessons learned to future housing justice work. Please join us in DC on July 8-9 to be in strategic partnership with Funders Together members and partners.  

For more information on Johnson v Grants Pass and ways implications for philanthropy, visit Funders Together's Johnson v Grants Pass resources page. 

Showing 1 reaction

  • Stephanie Chan
    published this page in Blog 2024-06-28 12:03:59 -0400

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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