News, In case out of Grants Pass, Ore., court reaffirms right of homeless to sleep outside : detailed suggestions and opinions about In case out of Grants Pass, Ore., court reaffirms right of homeless to sleep outside .
About a decade after losing her job and becoming homeless in the small city of Grants Pass, Ore., Debra Blake joined two other homeless residents in suing the city over a set of local ordinances that, in their view, criminalized the act of sleeping outside.
Blake and her co-plaintiffs argued that there were no shelters where they could stay in the city of 38,000, that they had no place else to go, and that the city’s anti-camping and anti-sleeping ordinances represented “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of their constitutional rights.
Among other things, the ordinances banned the use of rudimentary items such as blankets and cardboard boxes for protection against the weather.
“Over the past eight to ten years I have met dozens, if not hundreds, of homeless people in Grants Pass,” Blake wrote in a court declaration in 2019, when she was 60. “They have all had similar experiences with the Grants Pass police awaking them, moving them along, ticketing them, fining them, arresting them and/or criminally prosecuting them for living outside.”