The morning dew blanketing Julia Davis Park just outside the gates of Zoo Boise soaked through their sneakers, but members of the community carrying signs that read "Housing is a Human Right" and "Last Year's Winter Low Temp. -5 Degrees" gathered there this morning to raise awareness for homelessness.
This year marked the second annual Walk a Mile in My Shoes
march, and about 45 people showed up at Zoo Boise to march to the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial and back, where goods and services providers to the homeless had set up booths to educate people about homelessness in the Treasure Valley and the resources available to them.
Homelessness has become a hot-button issue in Boise. In 2013, the Boise City Council passed
the so-called Civil Sidewalks Ordinance
, which criminalized "aggressive panhandling." Critics derided it as a ham-handed way to flush homeless people out of downtown, and ACLU-Idaho successfully challenged
the ordinance on Constitutional grounds.
But since then, anxiety has run high about and within the homeless community. This summer, while Corpus Christi Day Shelter closed for renovation
, a homeless camp sprouted under the I-84 overpass near Rhoads Skatepark, and the City Council again took up the issue of homelessness by passing changes to its public camping ordinance.
Oct. 28, a man was found beaten to death near the camp, rattling the community