Homeless

Belonging is a fundamental human need. Equally strong is the drive to exclude. This is what Seattle University School of Law professor Sara Rankin calls "the influence of exile," which transcends individuals when powerful groups use laws and policies to restrict marginalized groups. The impulse to exclude is visible today in laws that criminalize and eject visibly poor people, including the homeless, from public spaces.

facebook.com/boiserescuemission

The Boise Rescue Mission is experiencing a financial crisis. The Christian organization’s leaders say it’s not because of lack of generosity from the community.

 The Rescue Mission has two homeless shelters in Boise and two in Nampa. Holiday contributions are important for keeping those shelters open. And direct mailing is the key to bringing that money in. So when a piece of holiday mail just didn’t get sent last year, CEO Bill Roscoe says the mission was hit hard.

Justin Doering / Fifty Sandwiches blog

Recent Boise State University media studies graduate Justin Doering has set out on a unique cross-country journey.

Through a blog he's calling "Fifty Sandwiches," Doering has set out to interview people experiencing homelessness. The blogger says the idea is to "close the gap between perception and reality" when it comes to what homeless individuals experience.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The City of Boise and a handful of nonprofit and public sector partners Tuesday announced a new program to house the area’s chronically homeless population. The plan would first put 15 homeless people in existing apartments for a cost of about $300,000 a year. Those would be owned by the city, the county housing authority and private landlords. KBSX previewed this plan in October

Ryan Zehm / NurFace Games

It’s a rags to riches story, starring a Boise man who lost it all, then found his way back through video games. Now Ryan Zehm owns and operates a thriving gaming company called NurFace Games.

A few years ago, Zehm went from working at a top tech company to living at a Boise homeless shelter. Now, he’s telling his story of how his perseverance and a little help from the Boise Public Library brought him back from the brink.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In the months leading up to the eviction of more than 100 people from a tent city near downtown, Boise city leaders frequently cited crime as one of the main reasons the camp needed to be cleared.

Update: Plans For New Boise Homeless Camp Fall Through

Dec 9, 2015
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Update 1:55 p.m. Wednesday: A plan to relocate some of the homeless people ejected from a Boise tent city last week has fallen through after objections from potential neighbors.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

The work to catalog the belongings of the now former residents of Boise’s Cooper Court homeless tent city is nearing an end. City officials say the work to properly document 70 tents and the items in them wrapped up on Saturday. That was a day after police moved into the camp near Boise’s downtown to evacuate the alley.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Update 5:30 p.m.: According to Boise Police Sgt. John Terry, there have been no arrests at Cooper Court. Police have been going tent-to-tent and the homeless people camping there are gone. Terry says there was some verbal resistance at first, but after explaining the options, people left without quarrel. 

Original post: On Friday, the City of Boise began taking new action on the homeless encampment known as Cooper Court. 

Boise Police To Clear Out Tent City Friday Morning

Dec 3, 2015
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

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.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It’s been nearly two weeks since police warned residents of a tent city near downtown Boise to leave or face potential arrest. But, the tents are still up, and dozens of people are still sleeping in the alley known as Cooper Court despite the pre-dawn warning a week before Thanksgiving.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It may be the beginning of the end for the homeless tent city near downtown Boise.

Thursday morning residents of the alley known as Cooper Court were awoken by Boise Police officers handing out warnings. The notices listed several laws people were breaking by sleeping in the alley and notified them that they could be fined or jailed.

The tents are located by the Connector in downtown, in an alley off Americana Boulevard and River Street. It's behind the Interfaith Sanctuary homeless shelter.

Courtesy Boise Alternative Shelter Co-op

There are two ideas being talked about in Boise to house chronically homeless people. You can think of them as the Eugene model and the Salt Lake City model.

Slideshow: Life Inside Boise's Tent City

Oct 26, 2015
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Read more about the homeless camp near downtown Boise here.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio

Boise Defends Its Record On Homeless Issues

Oct 26, 2015
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The issue of homelessness in Boise has been in the news a lot lately. The city recently won a court victory in defense of its anti-camping ordinance.  At the same time, a large homeless encampment in an alley called Cooper Court has grown not far from the heart of town.

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