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SPLC Action Fund Applauds Introduction of Georgia’s S.B. 498

Bill would create a statewide council to address homelessness, including those directly impacted

ATLANTA — Today, the SPLC Action Fund announced its support of a new, bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Kim Jackson in the Georgia State Senate, S.B. 498, which would create the Georgia Interagency Council for the Homeless — an important first step in ending the cruel practice of criminalizing homelessness.  
The bill was introduced weeks after the release of SPLC’s Sheltering Injustice report, which includes a policy proposal ensuring people with lived experience are central to efforts to combat the criminalization of those experiencing homelessness.  
“Providing a pathway to safe and stable housing is essential for all Georgians, particularly at a time in which thousands of people across the state are experiencing homelessness,” said Isabel Otero, Georgia Policy Director, SPLC Action Fund.  
“This bill builds on previous bipartisan efforts by the Georgia State Senate to address the harmful practice of criminalizing homelessness and, importantly, to ensure those with lived experience are included in a concerted, statewide effort to holistically support people and families in greatest need,” continued Otero. 
“We applaud the bipartisan support of this important piece of legislation and Sen. Kim Jackson for her unwavering leadership on this issue — and we urge swift passage of the bill by the General Assembly. The safety and security of Georgians who remain unhoused depend on it,” concluded Otero.  
Editor’s Note: 
Sheltering Injustice: A Call for Georgia to Stop Criminalizing People Experiencing Homelessness, released by the SPLC in January 2024, exposes the pernicious practice of criminalizing homelessness in Georgia and throughout the Deep South, cites Georgia laws that are putting thousands of people living unsheltered at risk of arrest and offers several policy recommendations that the state and its localities should act on to end this harmful practice.