I am disappointed and disturbed by the growing trend toward the criminalization of people experiencing homelessness, as evidenced by last week’s Supreme Court ruling in the case of Johnson v Grants Pass. These arrests and fines pose a dangerous threat toward not only to those experiencing homelessness but to our society at large. In the midst of an affordable housing crisis, more Americans are experiencing or at risk of homelessness than ever before. To punish them further, rather than seeking to address the root causes of homelessness, is both foolish and cruel.

In our nearly 40 years of work in the field of human services, we’ve had the privilege of implementing evidence-based solutions to homelessness and seeing their powerful impact. The combination of housing and supportive services make it possible for women we serve to build the lives they want to live, and to establish a secure base. Our goal is that once a woman comes to Deborah’s Place, she will never be homeless again—and year after year our success rate in that goal is consistently around 95%, because this approach works.

Now, we consider it our responsibility to continue our work not just for the women we serve, but as a model of real, effective, evidence-based solutions for homelessness. Though we are sad and angry, we are also determined.

If you’d like to help us continue doing this work in this rapidly changing landscape, consider making a donation. Thank you for your ongoing support of the women of Deborah’s Place.

Yours in the struggle,

Kathy Booton Wilson, CEO

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