Homeless shelter reaction after class-action lawsuit for homeless in Grants Pass

The mission said it has beds open for homeless individuals right now. (Carsyn/News 10)

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke ruled for a class-action lawsuit for the homeless in Grants Pass on August 7th, expanding the current city camping ordinance to include, “all involuntarily homeless individuals living in Grants Pass,” said court documents that were filed in U.S. District Court in Medford.

Debra Blake, Gloria Johnson, and John Logan stood up for the homeless community by suing the City of Grants Pass for trying to, "run them out of town," said the court documents.

According to the court documents, the three individuals do not have permanent addresses so they are technically homeless. The ordinances they referred to involved camping laws and sleeping in public places. The homeless individuals said in the documents that the ordinances work against people who are homeless.

The court documents also state that there are not enough homeless shelters in Grants Pass and the only one that fits the definition of a "homeless shelter" is Gospel Rescue Mission.

Brian Bouteller from Gospel Rescue Mission is against the lawsuit. Bouteller said the homeless people that want help are willing to work and live by rules.

"The issue has less to do with how many beds we have, versus who wants to leave homelessness behind. A lot of homeless people are comfortable sleeping in the bushes. They want to be left alone and do things their own way, and not fall into societal norms and not live according to any kind of standards," said Bouteller.

Gospel Rescue Mission said they have had about thirty beds open for the past year.

"This is a result of they got forced to pay a penalty and they refused to pay it, so now they want to go, mean old Grants Pass is against homeless people. Which, is far from the truth," said Bouteller.

The Grants Pass City Attorney said he is unable to comment at this time on the litigation.

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