Here is Boise's next steps after Cooper Court

Posted at 10:53 AM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 12:53:26-05

Dozens of people have been displaced from the tent city of Cooper Court after Boise police execute a massive operation. Now city leaders are picking up the pieces and figuring out how to implement the rules in the new normal.

Hundreds of city workers spent the weekend moving the homeless out of Cooper Court. Along the way they provided medical support and a brief shelter, but there are still many people living in the streets of Boise.

"There were a lot of resources,” said Boise Police Captain Ron Winegar. “A lot of folks came together to make this day what we believe to be successful."

The dump trucks are rolling into Cooper Court, now abandoned by upwards of 150 homeless people. It's the second phase of the operation to clean up the alleyway.

Phase one was eviction.

"It was our intent from the beginning to treat these folks humanely and with respect,” said Winegar. “It seems to me like that was really carried out."

Phase three is tagging and cataloging the left over tents and property to be placed in long-term storage.

However, the Cooper Court kick out is far from a solution to Boise's homelessness. Police have already responded to several new tents popping up in parks and along the river.

"We don't have maybe the best permanent solutions available right now for this issue,” said Winegar. “It continues to plague our society as far as a problem that doesn't have any great answers."

Winegar says future policing of homeless will be minimal as long as there are no new tent cities.

"The concentration of that many folks in a small area led to its own set of problems,” he said. “So that's what we're really trying to avoid, another tent city being established somewhere in the city."

During the evictions BPD did not have to arrest anyone resisting the move out. Any property left there will be stored for up to six months by the city and can be claimed by the owner at any time.