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Lord, thank You for this court decision. Please keep our streets from drugs and trafficking, and help the homeless across America.

A judge ruled that a person is not ‘involuntarily homeless’ if their city has offered them any form of housing.

From National Review. San Francisco leaders are preparing to ramp up efforts to clean up and clear out homeless camps in the city after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified that people who decline shelter should not be classified as “involuntarily homeless.”

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The clarification could also be critical for other western cities, which have struggled with the proliferation of homeless encampments on sidewalks and in public parks in the wake of two Ninth Circuit rulings — Martin v. City of Boise and Johnson v. City of Grants Pass — that limited the enforcement of camping bans on people who have nowhere to go.

San Francisco mayor London Breed announced Monday that the clarification provides the city with a “path forward” to enforce laws against “voluntarily homeless individuals.”

The clarification by the Ninth Circuit comes nearly a year after the city was sued by a coalition of advocates for the homeless who claimed that the city violated state and federal laws, as well as its own policies on clearing homeless camps and trashing people’s belongings. …

In December, U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu issued a temporary injunction in the case that limited the city’s ability to enforce laws against sitting, lying, or sleeping in public for people who are “involuntarily homeless.” In the wake of the injunction, the city was limited to clearing camps for health and safety reasons and to provide access to sidewalks, and only after providing a 72-hour notice, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Last year, the city counted 7,754 homeless people living in the city, and more than half of them were unsheltered. …

Breed said on Monday that the city “engages thousands of unhoused people in encampments each year by offering shelter and services,” and that the city has made “substantial investments” in its stock of supportive housing and shelters. But some people on the streets don’t want to be sheltered, and they use tent encampments “not primarily for housing but to conduct illegal behavior like drug dealing, human trafficking, and theft,” Breed said. …

“It does not make sense that a person who rejects a shelter offer or has a shelter bed but chooses to maintain a tent on the street should be considered ‘involuntarily homeless,’” San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu said in August, before the court’s clarification.

Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit judges agreed that “a person is not involuntarily homeless if they have declined a specific offer of available shelter or otherwise have access to such shelter or the means to obtain it.” Chiu and Breed praised the court’s order. …

She said city workers are getting updated training about what they can and cannot do to clear homeless camps in light of the Ninth Circuit’s clarification and Ryu’s injunction, which is still in place. But, she said, they are “getting prepared” to begin enforcing anti-camping laws again. …

The Ninth Circuit’s clarification about what it means to be “involuntarily homeless” in the San Francisco case could end some confusion over what western city governments can do to enforce anti-camping laws in the wake of the court’s Martin and Grants Pass rulings.

In 2018, the Ninth Circuit ruled in the Martin case that municipalities can’t impose criminal penalties against homeless people for sitting, sleeping, or lying on public property if they have no available shelter. In 2022, in the Grants Pass case, the Ninth Circuit added that the Oregon city can’t enforce anti-camping ordinances “against homeless persons for the mere act of sleeping outside with rudimentary protection from the elements, or for sleeping in their car at night, when there is no other place in the City to go.” …

Share your prayers below for San Francisco and other cities struggling with homelessness.

(Excerpt from National Review. Photo Credit: MattGush/Getty Images)

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September 30, 2023

The idea that people reject shelters to participate in illegal activities is incorrect

Shelters can be a very inhumane places. Additionally, they do not allow you to bring your animal companions

Been homeless multiple times but never on drugs

Darlene Estlow
September 30, 2023

Thank you Father for this ruling.


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