Boise & Garden City

Boise homelessness project to be announced Tuesday

Cleanup begins at Boise's Cooper Court

Former residents of the Cooper Court homeless encampment in Downtown Boise trickled in Saturday morning to retrieved their belongings from the area, which has been fenced off.
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Former residents of the Cooper Court homeless encampment in Downtown Boise trickled in Saturday morning to retrieved their belongings from the area, which has been fenced off.

The governments, non-profits and businesses that have discussed solutions for homeless and housing in the Treasure Valley will announce a Housing First initiative Tuesday, city of Boise spokesman Mike Journee said.

The city did not release details of the initiative ahead of Tuesday's scheduled press conference.

The announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Housing First is an approach to homelessness that starts with putting homeless people in homes first, then addressing contributing physical and mental ailments, addiction and other problems later. It is a money saver for places like Salt Lake City and the surrounding county, which implemented a Housing First model years ago.

Homelessness became a hot-button topic in Boise over the past year-and-a-half. A homeless camp near the I-184 Connector's bridge over Americana Boulevard irritated people who wanted the city of Boise to get rid of the camp, as well as people who thought the city should do more to help the homeless.

Starting in early 2015, representatives of dozens of local businesses, charities, churches and governments met periodically to discuss the problem and possible solutions. Participants came to a consensus on three needs: permanent supportive housing projects for chronically homeless people; better rapid re-housing options for homeless families; and a bigger supply of affordable housing.

Over the past two months, city of Boise officers have repeatedly said they hoped to announce a permanent supportive housing project early this year.

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