New fence and signs at Cooper Court

Posted at 5:34 PM, Nov 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-17 19:34:55-05

A homeless man contacted On Your Side Tuesday, concerned that crews were erecting a cyclone fence along Cooper Court, the area near the Interfaith Sanctuary in Boise where a number of homeless people have set up tents.

Boise Mayor’s Office spokesman Mike Journee explained the fence was put up to allow better access for garbage trucks and crews to pick-up garbage from dumpsters located behind Interfaith Sanctuary.

However, when asked about the fence, workers at Interfaith Sanctuary were surprised to learn about the installation -- and said, although the City of Boise had been talking about it for several months, the shelter was not informed that the installation of the fence would be occurring on November 17th.

In addition to the fence, several new signs were installed in the area of Cooper Court stating the road was a public road and blocking it could result in a fine and or charge.

Many of the homeless down at Cooper Court feel like they are slowly being forced out.

"We have no where else to go," one woman explained. "This is our home."

Leaders of Interfaith Sanctuary like Reverend Ed Keener explained that the issue of homelessness is bigger than the availability of beds.

"The shelter isn't able to get people out of the shelter because there isn't enough low income affordable housing," Keener explained.

"We know that the need is greater than it has been for additional low income or affordable housing but the challenges in the state of Idaho are compounded by a lack of funding sources," Executive Director of the Ada County Housing Authority Deanna Watson said. 

Watson went on to explain that federal funding for low income housing has been cut drastically in the last several years and private builders don't want to build low income housing due to the lack of financial incentives.