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Boise leaders to release long-term homeless plan

Posted at 7:04 PM, Dec 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-05 21:04:43-05

It's now been more than 24-hours since Boise city leaders began efforts to clear out homeless campers at Cooper Court. They say they are concerned over safety and sanitation.

Now those who called Cooper Court "home" are looking for somewhere else to stay.

So far, no one has cashed in any bus vouchers at the depot.

While it may be a bit too early to tell if the effort is moving things in the right direction, there seems to be a good portion of the homeless population who are still urging for affordable housing.

"I've stayed in the sanctuary shelter for about three months," says Don Brown.

In that time frame, Brown has been looking for housing that he, and others willing to be roommates, can afford. He says he hasn't had much luck.

"The housing waiting list is three years long. We've even confirmed that ourselves on our homeless committee board that I'm on," Brown says. "There are a few of us that go around and ask: Do you have a place for us to stay."

While the homeless are frustrated and tired of being turned away, the city continues to work toward coming up with long-term solutions.

Mike Journee representing the city of Boise says those plans are coming together and that a housing-first-type -of-solution will be presented sometime in the first quarter of 2016.

"The mayor and city council are working very hard to try and create resources where we can come up with permanent, supportive housing... housing that will have services for people that will get them where they need to be in order to address the root causes," Journee says.

In all, 26 people took advantage of services provided by the city at Fort Boise. According to Journee, the temporary shelter had a total of 14 overnight guests.

As far as the roughly 70 tents, along with personal items at Cooper Court, Journee says items will be boxed up and placed in a secure location that is still to be determined. Everything should be boxed up by Monday night.

People will have 180 days to reclaim their belongings.

"Throughout the day, if there were things that are inside the perimeter that people want to come in and claim and identify... the officers will work with them and give them the opportunity to do that," Journee says.

River Street, in its entirety, will be open to traffic by the end of the day on Saturday.