For Immediate Release
Sunday, April 21, 2024

Scott McLarty, (202) 878-2112,
Pat LaMarche,

Homeless #MemorialBlanket Project to display handmade blankets near the Supreme Court Building on April 22 as hearing begins on criminalization of homelessness

• When: Monday, April 22, 2024, first day of the hearing for Johnson v. Grants Pass

• Where: Section 10 across from the Supreme Court Building, First Street, NE, Washington DC

• Homeless Memorial Blanket Project web site with details, updates, and information on donating blankets:

WASHINGTON, DC — The Homeless Memorial Blanket Project will display handmade blankets and quilts on Section 10 across from the US Supreme Court Building on Monday, April 22, when the court begins hearing oral arguments on a case that considers whether municipal governments can criminalize homelessness.

“We’ll be at the Supreme Court to defend the right of people experiencing homelessness not to be ticketed, harassed, arrested, or jailed or to lose all their belongings because of their lack of housing,” said Blanket Project organizer Pat LaMarche.

“After Monday, we’ll distribute the blankets and quilts to families and individuals without homes,” said Ms. LaMarche, who organized previous displays in 2022 and 2023. “The weather forecast for overnights in DC this week predicts a dip into the low 40s. We hope these blankets will bring people comfort.”

On January 12, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a challenge to the Johnson v. Grants Pass (2022) case, in which the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that “the City of Grants Pass [California] cannot, consistent with the Eighth Amendment, enforce its anti-camping ordinances against homeless persons for the mere act of sleeping outside with rudimentary protection from the elements, or for sleeping in their car at night, when there is no other place in the City for them to go.”

“The leadership of Grants Pass wanted to criminalize the actions of people desperate for a place to sleep. The Ninth Circuit ruled that it was wrong to do so. Frustrated that they couldn’t torment people, they invested enormous resources in taking the issue to the Supreme Court — money that could have been much better spent providing housing,” said Ms. LaMarche.

By displaying the blankets and quilts, Blanket Project organizers, supporters, and blanket-makers are urging the Supreme Court to uphold the lower court’s invalidation of city ordinances that punish homelessness.

“Pillows, cardboard or blankets should not serve as proof of criminality. But if the court finds in favor of Grants Pass, these beautiful handmade gifts will be just that. We will display our blankets prominently to remind the court that a handmade blanket is a sign of love,” said Pat LaMarche.

On Dec. 21, 2022, the Homeless Memorial Blanket Project held a display of 1,179 handmade blankets and quilts from across the US on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington DC. On Dec. 21, 2023, the Blankets Project went local with a display on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg.

After both displays, the blankets and quilts were distributed to families and individuals in dire need during the winter.

The Homeless Memorial Blanket Project is hosted by the Charles Bruce Foundation (, which is located in central Pennsylvania. The Dec. 21 display will be an arts installation by this nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.


“Homeless #MemorialBlanket Project to display handmade blankets near the Supreme Court Building in preparation for April 22 hearing on criminalization of homelessness”
Press release, April 1, 2024

Johnson v. Grants Pass: Web site with FAQ

Johnson v. Grants Pass: Ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

“Supreme Court to weigh whether cities can punish homeless people for sleeping on public land”
NBC News, Jan. 12, 2024

Homeless Memorial Blanket Project on Facebook (national group)
To find a state Facebook group, type Homeless Remembrance Blanket and the state’s name in Search


Video: “Yay Babies!” from HEAR US Inc. about infants in homeless situations

“Handmade blankets for homeless crafted with ‘love’ come to Capitol Hill”
The Washington Post, Dec. 22, 2022

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