Local leaders react to SCOTUS ruling to ban homeless people sleeping outdoors

Jun 28, 2024, 6:00 PM

A large homeless encampment on the sidewalk where the Road Home shelter used to be, locals react to...

A large homeless encampment has formed on the sidewalk where the Road Home shelter existed until its demolition in January 2020. Tents are pictured on Rio Grande Street in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Local and state leaders are weighing in after the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that cities can ban homeless people from sleeping outdoors.

The state’s Homeless Coordinator Wayne Niederhauser released a written statement emphasizing the importance of enforcing local laws to ensure community safety.

“The Utah Office of Homeless Services prioritizes the need for shelter and housing for those experiencing homelessness. They are our family, friends and neighbors and deserving of human dignity. No one should have to live in a place not meant for human habitation, and it is essential to enforce local laws for the safety of all in our communities,” the statement read. 

Niederhauser said they will take time to assess how the Supreme Court’s ban on homeless encampments will affect their efforts on a local level. 

Gov. Spencer Cox took to social media after the ruling was announced.

“This Supreme Court ruling supports local authorities as they enforce no-camping ordinances and help our homeless friends find the shelter and resources they need,” read Cox’s post.

 A group that advocates for the homeless, Solutions Utah, said they agree with the SCOTUS ruling on the Grants Pass case. 

Solutions Utah Chair Dale Keller and Vice Chair Dave Kelly also released a statement Friday morning. 

“Solutions Utah agrees with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a city’s right to enforce anti-camping laws. With this enforceable authority, cities can keep their parks, streets, sidewalks and other public places open, safe, clean and accessible for their intended uses,” the statement read.

The statement went on to encourage cities and states to find solutions.

Now the state of Utah, with its communities, cities, and counties has the legal responsibility to enforce anti-camping and related laws and we encourage all to do so. It also removes the ambiguity created by Martin vs. Boise and the Ninth Circuit Court decision. It challenges the notion that homeless camping in public spaces is humane and compassionate. This should also spur cities and states to pursue effective alternatives to solve this humanitarian crisis,” the statement continued. 

Related stories:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Housing + Homelessness

Ogden City wants to limit multifamily housing construction in commercial zones....

Tammy Kikuchi

Ogden City is considering restrictions to multifamily housing in commercial zones

Ogden officials want to limit multifamily housing construction in commercial zones, citing a lack of walkability, services, and recreation amenities.

10 days ago

A sign reading "For rent" in Salt Lake City on Feb. 10. The average amount of money a Utahn would n...


How much does a Utahn need to make to rent an average 2-bedroom unit?

In Utah, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is estimated at $1,398, according to Department of Housing and Urban Development data.

11 days ago

A view of the University of Utah, downtown Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake is visible from R...


Community advocates continue call for affordable housing in SEG/SLC plan

While Smith Entertainment Group works on its deal with Salt Lake City, some voices call for more to be done for affordable housing.

12 days ago

A neighborhood under construction in North Salt Lake....

Heather Peterson and Josuee Sanchez

Utah homeowners insurance rates have skyrocketed

According to data from S&P Global, in 2023 Utahns spent about 52% more on homeowner's insurance than they did in 2018. 

12 days ago

A report from LendingTree shows that, nationally, more single young women are homeowners than singl...

Tammy Kikuchi

More single women are homeowners than single men, report shows

A report from LendingTree shows that, nationally, more single young women are homeowners than single young men.

14 days ago

Camilo Castillo, 2, feeds ducks at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 13, 2023. Liber...


Free concert, organization raises awareness of SLC homelessness

From 10am-10pm on Saturday, Hands of Hope is putting on a free concert to raise awareness of homelessness in Salt Lake City.

16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Local leaders react to SCOTUS ruling to ban homeless people sleeping outdoors