Petition to Oppose the Criminalization of Unsheltered Veterans


45 Organizations Unite to Oppose the Criminalization of Unsheltered Veteran Homelessness

45 Organizations Unite to Oppose the Criminalization of Unsheltered Veteran Homelessness

Stakeholders urge SCOTUS to understand the needs of unsheltered veterans and Americans

Washington D.C. – Today, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) and the UCLA Law School’s Veterans Clinic united with 43 partners to file an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A historic Supreme Court caseJohnson v. City of Grants Pass, threatens to unleash a wave of criminalization of unhoused veterans and others across the country. On April 22, 2024, SCOTUS is set to hear opening arguments and ultimately decide whether cities can impose civil or criminal penalties on unhoused people for sleeping outside, even in the absence of shelter space.

On any night in 2023, there were 35,574 veterans experiencing homelessness in America. Further, unsheltered veteran homelessness increased by 14.3 percent since the prior year, compared to a 9.7% increase in the civilian population.  A ruling in favor of civil and criminal penalties would bring dire consequences for unsheltered veterans, and detract from our ability to decrease veteran homelessness across the country.

“The Court must understand, through this brief, that their ruling could have dire consequences for unsheltered veterans” said CEO of NCHV, Kathryn Monet. “It is absurd to think that the use of civil penalties against veterans and others experiencing homelessness will do anything other than harm people for being impoverished and make it harder for them to get back on their feet. The justices must rule in a way that reflects the humanity of all Americans, no matter where they lay their head to rest.”

“I spent 5 years in the Army and did two tours in the Middle East,” said Gabriel Henriquez, 2nd year UCLA Law Student and Brief Co-author. “When I had the opportunity to come to UCLA Law, I said that I would use my education and the skills I gained here to give back to my community and this is an excellent opportunity to do just that. Most importantly, this is a crucial chance for the Supreme Court to learn about the lived experiences of unhoused veterans, who face banishment and dehumanization by local jurisdictions.”

“I came to law school wanting to uplift underserved groups and it’s been a real privilege to be able to serve this community,” said Atreyi Mitra, 3rd year UCLA Law Student and Brief Co-author.

Read the brief here.

Approximately 40 organizations have also filed amicus briefs in favor of Johnson et. Al. Read them here.



Organization Contact Name Email Address
Access Housing Inc DC Walter Elmore
Albany Housing Coalition Inc Joe Sluszka
American GI Forum National Veterans Outreach Program Marie Lopez
Black Veterans For Social Justice, Inc. Macky Dancy
Black Veterans Project Richard Brookshire
Cape and Island’s Veterans Outreach Center James Seymour
Community Hope Inc. Peggy Banko
Connecticut Veterans Legal Center Shannon Mykins
Cornell Law Veterans Law Practicum James Hardwick
CVJP – Criminal Veteran Justice Project Jodi Galvin
Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services Sam Whitehurst
Emmanuel House Recovery Program Timothy Thompson JR.
Family & Community Services, Inc. Matt Slater
HVAF of Indiana, Inc. Emmy Hildebrand
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Morghan Cyr
Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, Inc. Ken Greenberg
Lady Veterans Connect Phyllis Abbott
Michigan Veterans Foundation Raeda Dabaja
Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans Kim North
Minority Veterans of America Lindsay Church
National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium Judy Clausen
Nation’s Finest McKinzie Burrows
New Visions Homeless Services Heather Beekhuizen
Operation Dignity Tomika Perkins
Project Love Coalition Kent Bey
Public Counsel Amanda Pertusati
Service Women’s Action Network Patricia Olivares
Services for the Underserved (S:US) Amanda Nasner
Soldiers’ Angels Michelle Julazadeh
Southwestern Oregon Veterans Outreach (SOVO) Patrick Murphy
Swords to Plowshares Colleen Corliss Murakami
Syracuse University College of Law Veterans Legal Clinic Andrea Parisi
Texas A & M School of Law  Family & Veterans Advocacy Clinic Karon L Rowden
The Orange Tent Project Mary Kate Mack
U.S.VETS Cindy Monticue
University of Detroit Mercy Veterans Law Clinic Grace Henning
University of Illinois College of Law Krista Gaedtke
Veteran Housing Corp Reydel “Sonny” Santos
Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law Ali Bridges
Veterans Integration Centers Sheila Victorino
Veterans Legal Institute Antoinette Naddour
Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, Inc. William Kelly
Veterans Strong Community Center Donna Dognin
Vets first life management Antunell Wheeler
Women Veterans Interactive Foundation Ginger Miller