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Little files lawsuit to end homeless protest outside statehouse

Tent City
Posted at 10:21 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 12:38:15-04

BOISE, Idaho — Gov. Brad Little and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden filed a lawsuit Monday to stop those who are camping in protest of a lack of affordable housing on the lawn of the old Ada County Courthouse.

Since mid-January, a growing group has gathered on the state property outside of the statehouse. Throughout the last two months, Idaho State Police have conducted multiple searches.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, “there have been a growing number of violations and dangerous conduct requiring increased calls for police service and enforcement action, including multiple instances of violence; drug abuse and distribution; the presence of hypodermic needles and bags containing human feces and urine; soiled clothing; vomit-covered tents; rotting food; abandoned property; garbage; and fire hazards.”

On March 8, ISP troopers arrested three people and cited 6 during a visit to the site.

“Idaho will not tolerate public encampments and destruction of public property. Idaho is not San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle, where public officials have engaged in failed experiments to permit and encourage public camping disguised as protests,” Little said.

Little said public camping on the Capitol Mall is inexcusable and unnecessary due to the number of free resources for those experiencing homeless.

Boise Rescue Mission, CEO Rev. Bill Roscoe, CEO, said there are plenty of open beds at his location.

“We have open beds at both the River of Life Men’s Mission and the City Light Home for Women and Children in Boise. Contrary to rumors, we are not a ‘high barrier’ shelter and we offer safe, clean shelter, three meals daily and many programs and services all designed to help people recover from homelessness. We will welcome anyone who comes to our door needing assistance,” Roscoe said.

Central District Health also inspected the area and determined it to be a public health and safety hazard.