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Communities Across the Commonwealth Come Together in Grants Pass Day of Action

Recently, the Supreme Court heard Johnson v. Grants Pass, the most significant case concerning the rights of homeless people in decades. Like many cities and towns across the country and within the Commonwealth, Grants Pass, Oregon’s lack of affordable housing and homeless shelters has driven many members of its homeless community to resort to sleeping on the streets. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case will dictate whether or not cities are allowed to arrest and fine people for things like sleeping outside with a pillow or blanket, even when there are no safe shelter options.

To draw attention to both the extreme importance of this monumental case and the implications of House Bill 5, a piece of legislation soon to be made into law that effectively criminalizes homelessness, communities around the country participated in the Grants Pass Day of Action on April 22nd, the day the Supreme Court heard the Grants Pass case. 

In Kentucky, rallies and marches in Louisville, Lexington, Berea, and Ashland were planned by organizations like the Madison County Tenants Union, Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, Black Lives Matter Louisville, VOCAL KY, Coalition for the Homeless, Louisville Urban League, the Catholic Action Center, and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. These events drew hundreds of like-minded citizen advocates, legislative representatives, and speakers with lived experience together to discuss how to fight the ramifications of HB 5 and how to act in response to any decision the Supreme Court makes on the Grants Pass case.

As long-time proponents of the organizations planning these events – as well as the communities they operate in – KEJC supported them by authoring and facilitating a series of legislative letter writing campaigns urging local lawmakers to fund affordable housing and rental assistance programs.

If you’re passionate about housing justice and want to demand equal access to safe, stable, and affordable housing in your community, consider sending a letter to Jefferson, Madison, and Fayette County legislators.

*Many thanks to Taylor Killough at ACLU of Kentucky for allowing us to use her photo for this post!


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