Homelessness

Matthew Mead / AP Images

At this time of year, the culinary arts students at the Centennial Job Corps Center in Nampa usually turn their attention to turkey. Hundreds of the birds are cooked in the center’s production kitchen – along with stuffing and potatoes – and are stored until the Boise Rescue Mission’s annual banquet. The meal serves up to 4,000 people.

homeless, sign
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State researcher Vanessa Fry has done a lot of work on the issue chronic homelessness among adults. Fry’s research helped lead the City of Boise to launch its “housing first” initiative – a 41-unit building that will offer medical and social services to residents in 2018.


homeless, sign
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The city of Boise and a group of partner agencies broke ground Wednesday on a new housing development designed to help the chronically homeless in the community.


Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The alley known as Cooper Court wraps around Interfaith Sanctuary homeless shelter near downtown Boise. For much of 2015 the alley was packed to bursting with tents, makeshift shelters and the people living in them who preferred the streets to staying in shelters. That camp was one of the biggest local news stories of 2015. Police eventually cleared it, scattering its residents.

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

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.

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 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.

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