Best Concrete Campsite

Homeless ticketed for 'camping'after day shelter closes

Staff Pick

It couldn't have happened at a worse time. With July heat hovering at or near triple digits, homeless shelter Corpus Christi House closed for renovations. With cramped quarters at Interfaith Sanctuary, the River of Life Men's Shelter and City Light Home for Women and Children, dozens of homeless people were forced to find shelter under the overpass near Rhodes Park, a half a block from Corpus Christi House. As the numbers of homeless on the sidewalks swelled, Boise police started writing tickets for "camping." The ordinance, which proscribes "use of public property as a temporary or permanent place of dwelling, lodging, or residence, or as a living accommodation at any time between sunset and sunrise, or as a sojourn" drew a lawsuit from attorney Howard Belodoff and Idaho Legal Aid in 2009. With tensions rising as high as temperatures under the bridge this summer, Belodoff, alongside ACLU of Idaho, hit the street to inform the homeless of their rights. For their part, Boise police said they were unhappy about having to write the citations, and ACLU of Idaho Interim Executive Director Leo Morales said the problem needs to be solved at City Hall. "It's regrettable that our city has a 10-year action plan to deal with homelessness and yet, they haven't dealt with it," Morales said.

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