"The worst thing for the homeless." Local homeless advocates repond to Supreme Court ruling.

Supreme Court rules it is not cruel and unusual punishment for cities to issue citations to the homeless who are found sleeping on public property
Posted at 8:44 PM, Jun 28, 2024

BOISE — Most of us have the luxury of sleeping in the comfort of our own homes. But imagine being on the streets. Now the simple act of trying to get some sleep on public property, can be criminalized.

The mayor of Boise says the city will continue to help the homeless, but didn’t say explicitly that they will never ticket them. And now every city has that option at their disposal.

The ruling from the nation’s highest court is a bitter pill to swallow for Jodi Peterson Stigers.

“This is not a solution at all. This is actually causing people to be deeper in homelessness, said Stigers.“

Peterson Stigers says ticketing the homeless who cannot pay for a ticket, results in warrants and an obvious outcome.

“They’re going to jail so we just made jail transitional homeless shelters with no supportive services and basically that goes on everyone’s record. Go to jail it goes on your record we didn’t make it easier we made it harder to get back on your feet.” said Stigers.

Boise mayor Lauren McLean issued a statement which said in part. “In Boise, we take care of people. Criminalizing homelessness has never, and will never, solve the problems associated with homelessness.“

Attorney General Raul Labrador wrote, "This SCOTUS decision is at the heart of preserving safety and livability in cities everywhere.”

Boise had its own issues with homelessness, ticketing the homeless if they slept on public property under former mayor Dave Better. It led to a federal lawsuit that landed in the ninth circuit court of appeals which found ticketing cruel and unusual punishment.

The Supreme Court disagreed and Peterson Stigers says its now a case of dealing with a tough blow.

“There are hopefully work arounds for protecting what would be considered the most vulnerable who are without housing,” said Stigers.