On Friday morning, Boise Police will begin clearing a homeless camp near downtown.
The camp in an alley known as Cooper Court has been around since early summer and nearly 100 people sleep there. City leaders have said for months that the camp is unsafe, unhealthy and would not be allowed to remain long term.
Thursday afternoon, Boise Police officers cordoned off a nearby section of River Street and set up huge tents to begin the process. Later in the evening, Boise Police Captain Ron Winegar briefed a few homeless service providers and asked them to share the information with alley residents.
Lisa Veaudry of Corpus Christi House told an anxious crowd that police would begin the process sometime the following morning.
“Their solution is just to clear it,” Veaudry relayed to residents of the tent camp. “It is seemingly upon us to solve it. I’m terrified for you.”
Veaudry asked alley residents to be calm and orderly when the police begin the evacuation process.
“Let’s try to be reasonable and not force them to arrest us because our behavior is excited or upset,” she said.
Veaudry assured alley residents that she and others will be available to help them find other places to stay. Many people in the alley say they can’t or won’t stay in shelters. Veaudry told the homeless the police had promised to treat their possessions with respect and ensure they do not lose the things they value.
Police were not willing to speak to reporters. But, Veaudry says the police department plans to begin clearing the camp Friday morning after rush hour.
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