How Boise's Fight Over Homelessness Is Rippling Along The West Coast

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Leroy N. Soetoro

Dec 16, 2019, 2:17:48 PM12/16/19
Homelessness is a scam. democrat politicians divert money to "homeless"
projects and establish cash pipelines to them while in office. When they
leave office, they become executives "managing" those projects with 6 and
7 figure annual salaries. It's a scam, it's a crime.


It's billed as one of the most livable places in the country with its good
schools, leafy streets and safe neighborhoods. That's what makes Boise,
Idaho, an odd backdrop for a heated legal fight around homelessness that
is reverberating across the western United States and may soon be taken up
by the Supreme Court.

It goes back nearly a decade to when seven homeless people sued Boise for
repeatedly ticketing them for sleeping outside. Last year, the 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals ruled in their favor. The decision said it was "cruel and
unusual punishment" to enforce rules that stop homeless people from
camping in public places when they have no place else to go. That means in
states across the 9th Circuit — including Washington, Oregon and
California — cities and counties can no longer enforce similar statutes if
they don't have enough shelter beds for homeless people sleeping outside.

Pam Hawkes was one of the original plaintiffs in the case. She now lives
in Spokane, Wash., where she had been in and out of homelessness and only
recently found stable housing. Seven years ago, she and her then-partner
had nowhere to live in Boise, and many nights, they had no other choice
but to pitch a tent in a wooded area along the river.

"I was like, 'I just need somewhere to lay my head overnight,' and it's
not like we left camp up," she said. "We always packed up and we always
kept it clean."

Even though she says she tried to keep herself hidden, police issued her
more than a dozen tickets. Like most people living on the streets, Hawkes
didn't have steady work and couldn't pay the fines. So she ended up in

"I'd never been in jail a whole day and night before," she said. "It was

Boise has hired a high-powered Los Angeles-based law firm to appeal the
case to the Supreme Court. Dozens of other municipalities and
organizations ranging from the downtown LA YMCA to a group of California
counties have filed amicus briefs in support of the review.

Meanwhile, the fight over how to deal with the ever-growing homelessness
crisis — most acutely visible in places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco
and Seattle — is dividing cities, neighborhoods and political parties.

It was a deciding factor in the unusually heated Boise mayoral race
between two Democrats this past fall. Like many western cities, Boise is
in the midst of an extraordinary affordable housing shortage. It's also
one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, a source of tension in
some corners.

The message that prevailed was city council president Lauren McLean's.

"The part that is missed all too often is the importance of prevention, if
we want to prevent camps, we have to prevent homelessness," she said
during a forum at at a local homeless shelter. "We've got to address the
affordability crisis in the community."

In a divisive runoff earlier this month, McLean handily beat the city's
longest-serving mayor, Dave Bieter. He took heat for the city's spending
of hundreds of thousands of dollars to appeal a case, money that some
argued should be going to housing and more support services for the

But Bieter warned that the famously pleasant and livable city of Boise can
only remain that way if it has the ability to issue some tickets to stop
the spread of tent cities.

"I'm really concerned when I see Seattle or Portland or San Francisco, I
go there and I see a city that's overwhelmed by the problem," he said.

In cities like those, and in Los Angeles, the homelessness crisis is far
more eye-opening than in Boise. Homeless encampments are sprouting up in
underpasses, along streets, on scores of sidewalks and inside parks.

In downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row, some 3,000 people sleep on the streets
in the shadow of the financial district and luxury condos. The county is
home to nearly 60,000 homeless people, and the city's homeless population
jumped 16% in the last year. California is where nearly a quarter of the
country's homeless population live.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Los Angeles County each filed
amicus briefs in support of the appeal.

"I want the Supreme Court to issue clear rules that lead there to be
certainty in jurisdictions like ours as to how we can regulate —
constitutionally — conduct on our sidewalks," Feuer said. "A shared space
for which we need to strike a very fine balance between the rights and
legitimate interests of homeless people and the rights and legitimate
interests of other residents and businesses."

The Boise ruling, he said, sweeps too broadly. He wants clarity. Does Los
Angeles have the right to intervene if someone, for example, refuses to
take an available shelter bed even if the city doesn't have beds for
everyone? Is the city required to do burdensome nightly counts of the
homeless population as compared with the number of shelter beds available?

"We need to assure that there are rules that everybody can live by, so
that all our public spaces that are shared by everybody can be safe for
everybody," he said. "Occasionally that is going to require some level of
enforcement, and sometimes a level of enforcement is going to pertain to
people who are homeless, not because of their status of being homeless,
but because of conduct."

There are nowhere near the number of shelter beds or temporary and
permanent housing for the people who need it, Feuer said. But as the city
works to solve the crisis, it also needs tools to keep Los Angeles safe.
Business owners, housed residents, homeless people and advocates are
frustrated with the growing encampments, garbage, human feces and used
needles. This is all increasing as the city spends more on tackling the
homelessness crisis.

In 2016, voters passed Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion affordable housing
bond program to build 10,000 supportive housing units for the chronically
homeless in Los Angeles. Not one unit is complete.

"Three years later, we have more houseless people than ever before. Three
years later, three houseless people per day are dying. Three years later,
150 people per day are entering into the houseless ranks," said Pete
White, head of the Los Angeles Community Action Network or LA CAN, based
on Skid Row. His organization has been on the other side of many legal
challenges against city ordinances it considers anti-homeless, from
property confiscation to stopping people who have nowhere to go from
sleeping in public.

He says Los Angeles and other cities have to stop reaching into a toolbox
to police the problem and start reaching into a toolbox to solve the
problem. The solution is clear: affordable housing and services for the

Outside the LA CAN office, Juan Brown is shaking his head as he watches
sanitation workers fill garbage trucks and power-wash the sidewalks.
Police are taping off the area as outreach workers roam the streets.

"It's just another ploy to harass the homeless, making us move," he said.

He was living on the corner where he stands for three years before finally
getting into housing a month ago. He lost his job as a truck driver after
he was hit by a drunk driver. He couldn't make rent and ended up outside.
He refers to the clean streets effort he's watching as clean sweeps,
because homeless people are forced to move, temporarily. If they don't get
their stuff out of the way in time, he said, it gets confiscated.

"We're targeted because Los Angeles look at us like cockroaches instead of
human beings," he said. "We're no longer human beings out here. Homeless
people are cockroaches to society now."

That's right thery are and they always have been. Stop enabling the lazy
bums, get them off drugs and put them to work making garbage cans. If
they are too stupid to to that - make them walk along the freeways and
will up the garbage cans. If they refuse, put them in a work camp for a
minimum of one year and teach them how to work. Send any liberal who
disagrees to camp with them.

No collusion - Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III, March 2019.

Donald J. Trump, 304 electoral votes to 227, defeated compulsive liar in
denial Hillary Rodham Clinton on December 19th, 2016. The clown car
parade of the democrat party ran out of gas and got run over by a Trump

Congratulations President Trump. Thank you for cleaning up the disaster
of the Obama presidency.

The Obama-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
approved Uranium One in fall 2010. With a little luck, we'll see
compulsive liar Hillary Clinton in jail before she dies.

Under Barack Obama's leadership, the United States of America became the
The World According To Garp.

Obama increased total debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in the eight
years he was in office, and sold out heterosexuals for Hollywood queer
liberal democrat donors.
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