Published On: June 28, 20241.7 min read333 words

The Supreme Court has ruled on the case of Gloria Johnson, v. the city of Grants Pass, Oregon, that people experiencing homelessness can be arrested or fined for sleeping outside when there is no adequate shelter available. This ruling will allow jurisdictions to criminalize people camping on public property. Something we know only makes it more difficult for people to access stable housing.

NN4Y is extremely disappointed with the outcome of this case. There are 4.2 million youth and young adults experiencing homelessness who are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of this ruling.

These young people often encounter age-specific barriers to finding adequate shelters, such as the scarcity of youth shelter beds, narrow eligibility requirements, and prioritization for populations other than youth, as well as limited access to age-appropriate services. This ruling means, that if a young person is unable to find a safe and appropriate shelter to sleep in, they can be arrested for just not being able to find age-appropriate services.

Alternatives to Addressing Youth Homelessness

Johnson v. Grants Pass is a seminal court case, but it is not the sole federal action. There are many different ways we can prevent and end homelessness, including youth homelessness.

Three Actions You Can Take Right Now

Now more than ever, it’s important our representatives understand the scope of youth homelessness, and how they can end it. Encourage your representatives to support the legislation by clicking on the bill and following the outlined steps.

  1. Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 5221) will change the definition of homelessness, ensuring young people are counted, heard, and supported.
  2. Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2023 (S.3125/H.R. 6041)) will update the existing Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) program, which provides services for young people experiencing homelessness.
  3. FY 2025 Appropriations Requests will increase funding for key federal youth homelessness programs.

For more information on NN4Y policy priorities, visit our Take Action Center.
For more information on Johnson v. Grants Pass, visit