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Stop Treating the Homeless like Criminals for Camping on Public Lands

This petition had 135 supporters


     The City of Boise, Idaho has what is known as an "Anti-Camping" ordinance.  If you are caught sleeping in a public place, such as under a bridge, in a park, or along the river, you can be ticketed for a misdemeanor offense which carries a penalty of up to $1000.00 and/or 6 months in jail, plus court costs of over $150.  There are shelters, but they have a limited capacity and can and often do become crowded in extreme weather.

     I am Homeless and tried the shelters, but like many others with Disabilities, or various other reasons, I cannot stay in a shelter.  I have camped out now for 4 winters in sometimes single digit temperatures with no problems until I was finally spotted in the woods and ticked on Christmas Eve of last year.  It took over 9 months with a lawyer willing to do pro-Bono work to finally get it dismissed.  I was fortunate, most of those ticketed spend time in jail, which in my opinion has better facilities and room per person than the shelters and you are not kicked out all day, no matter what the weather.

     There is currently in Boise, Idaho an Encampment of over 80 homeless in what is called Cooper Court between a day shelter and an overnight shelter that is on public property, but mostly out of sight of the public.  Enforcement of the "Anti-Camping" ordinance has increased with the publicly stated purpose of forcing everyone into shelters by October 1, 2015.  There are citizen groups and agencies working as fast as they can to come up with solutions.

     All I ask, is that the "Anti-Camping" ordinance be Suspended, if not outright done away with, until some of the solutions being worked on can start taking effect. 



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Richard Morgan needs your help with “Mayor Beiter and the City Council of Boise, Idaho: Stop Treating the Homeless like Criminals for Camping on Public Lands”. Join Richard and 134 supporters today.