National Alliance to End Homelessness, Funders Together to End Homelessness, and Enterprise Community Partners File Amicus Brief in Support of the Rights of the Homeless in Landmark Supreme Court Case

Contact: Libby Miller | | 202-942-8252

Washington, D.C., April 3, 2024 — Funders Together to End Homelessness, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Enterprise Community Partners today announced that they have submitted an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in the upcoming landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Johnson v Grants Pass.  

Johnson v. Grants Pass is the most important case regarding homelessness in the past 40 years. It will address the critical issue of whether laws punishing homeless individuals for sleeping outdoors with basic protections such as a pillow or blanket – when no safe and accessible shelter options are available – are violations of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects against excessive bail, fines, and cruel and unusual punishment.

The organizations join the National Homelessness Law Center and a broad array of over one thousand organizations and public leaders who have submitted nearly 40 amicus briefs in solidarity with the rights of homeless individuals across the U.S.

“The ruling on Grants Pass v. Johnson will have major impacts on how communities respond to homelessness. However, decades of research and evidence have already made it clear that the most effective way to end a person’s homelessness is with housing and supportive services,” said Ann Oliva, CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “Now is the time to ramp up housing production, invest in low-barrier shelter, and fully commit to best practices. Arresting people for not having a home is an outdated, unjust, and historically failed tactic.”

“As institutions that invest and support proven solutions to homelessness and housing instability, philanthropy has a responsibility to also utilize its voice to protect our unhoused neighbors’ rights and lives,” said Amanda Andere, CEO of Funders Together to End Homelessness. “This brief emphasizes our organization’s and member’s unapologetic support for solutions that are rooted in humanity, choice, and the understanding that everyone deserves a safe place to call home.”  

“The reality is we know what works to fight homelessness – we need to create more housing where people can afford to live and enact policies that keep people stably and safely housed,” said Shaun Donovan, President and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners. “With our partners, Enterprise has built and preserved one million homes, and we’ve seen the transformative impact they’ve had, especially for families and individuals experiencing homelessness. We urge the Supreme Court to protect the rights and basic needs of hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. and lay the groundwork for a future where everyone has a place to call home.” 

Currently, more than 600,000 people in America experience homelessness on any given night, with nearly half—250,000—sleeping outside. Data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development shows a rise in homelessness for both sheltered and unsheltered individuals in nearly every state. The primary cause of the record levels of homelessness is the unaffordable housing market, according to research from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Below is an excerpt from the amicus brief filed by Funders Together to End Homelessness, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Enterprise Community Partners:

The data are clear: criminalizing homelessness is expensive and does little to solve the issue.  Providing supportive housing and services is a cost-effective strategy for the taxpaying public and actually reduces homelessness.  The claims by Petitioner and amici that the Ninth Circuit’s decision below keep them from meaningfully addressing homelessness ignore that criminalization does not, in fact, work while housing and services programs do.  For the reasons stated above and in Respondents’ brief, the Court should uphold the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Grants Pass. 


Funders Together to End Homelessness is a national network of more than 260 private foundations, community foundations, United Way, corporate giving programs, and individual philanthropists. Funders Together mobilizes its members to use philanthropy’s voice, influence, and financial capital to end homelessness by creating and advancing lasting solutions that are grounded in racial and housing justice, driven by love and disruption, and centering people with lived expertise. Membership is open to all private philanthropy currently engaged or interested in funding housing justice efforts or related areas. Funders Together, an approved 501(c)(3), is a virtual based organization. For more information, visit


The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. As a leading voice on the issue of homelessness, the Alliance analyzes policy and develops pragmatic, cost-effective solutions; works collaboratively with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity; and provides data and research to policymakers and elected officials in order to inform policy debates and educate the public and opinion leaders nationwide.


Enterprise is a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. We support community development organizations on the ground, aggregate and invest capital for impact, advance housing policy at every level of government, and build and manage communities ourselves. Since 1982, we have invested $72 billion and created 1 million homes across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands – all to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging. Join us at


The National Homelessness Law Center (NHLC) is at the forefront of the fight against homelessness in America. Our mission is to fearlessly advance federal, state and local policies to prevent and end homelessness while fiercely defending the rights of all unhoused persons. We work to shape and advance policies at the federal, state, and local levels aimed at preventing and ultimately ending homelessness. By fostering partnerships, influencing policy, and mobilizing communities, the NHLC is dedicated to transforming how society addresses homelessness, striving for a future where everyone has a place to call home. Learn more at