Just five days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an unconscionably cruel ruling in Grants Pass v. Johnson, at least one member of the Morgantown City Council is already pushing the city to criminalize homelessness like never before.

Councilor Louise “Weez” Michael has called on Council to amend its current so-called camping ban, which currently prohibits unauthorized sleeping in city parks, to also include “residential property, city streets, alleyways, and sidewalks.”

ACLU-WV has joined nine other organizations in a letter calling on the Council to use evidence-based approaches to addressing homelessness instead of heaping more punishment onto already struggling people.

“Public camping bans do not and cannot address the root causes of homelessness, which include, but are not limited to, poverty, violence, and disability. To the contrary, fines, arrests, prosecutions, and criminal records are entirely incompatible with securing safe, affordable housing,” the letter states. “The only solution to homelessness is housing.”

“If Council’s goal is to combat homelessness, it must come to terms with the truth that the path is neither straight nor easy, but that saving lives is worth the effort. If Council’s goal is to further stigmatize, punish, and traumatize the most vulnerable people in our community—those with the least power to change their material conditions—then Councilor Michael’s proposition will do just that. Notably, both paths are trod at the taxpayers’ expense.”

The letter was drafted by Mountain State Justice. Also joining the letter are Morgantown Coalition for Housing Action, Project Rainbow, 17th Judicial Circuit Public Defender Corp., League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County, Morgantown Pride, Mylan Puskar Health Right, West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness.

Read the full letter below.