Gavel, Courts, Justice
SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has halted part of Boise's new anti-panhandling ordinance. The ordinance was set to go into effect Thursday.

Boise approved the ordinance in September to crack down on aggressive panhandling.  The tougher rules make a first offense an infraction when panhandlers seek handouts while someone is crossing a roadway or near a sidewalk cafe. 

Idaho Lands On Top 10 List For Increase In Homeless Students

Dec 13, 2013
student, desk, classroom
BionicTeaching / Flickr Creative Commons

Student homelessness in Idaho has grown by 27 percent, putting the state in a list of 10 that have seen the largest increase in the number of kids without stable, reliable homes. That data from the U.S. Department of Education measured growth from the 2010/2011 school year to 2011/2012.

Mistermuckle / Flickr Creative Commons

You might look at Thursday's announcement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as good news and bad news for Idaho. First the good news. Between 2010 and 2013 Idaho saw a 24 percent drop in homelessness. That’s more than 560 fewer people living on Idaho’s streets. Nationally, homelessness decreased by 6 percent.

Boise Passes Controversial Law To Limit Panhandlers

Sep 18, 2013
Jessica Murri / Boise State Public Radio

Boise’s City Council approved a plan to limit what the city labels as aggressive panhandling. About 75 people showed up at City Hall Tuesday night, many to protest the vote.

The council passed the ordinance 3 to 1. It doesn’t ban panhandling all together, as long as those who do it don't target specific people or groups.

Critics say this ordinance is too restrictive. Larry Shamks is homeless and disabled. He plays the ukulele now because his hands can’t handle the guitar, which he says he played for 40 years.

Interfaith Sanctuary

Tonight marks the longest night of the year.  Advocates chose this night to remember the homeless who have died in 2012.  The National Homeless Person’s Memorial happens in more than 150 cities, including Boise. 

Jayne Sorrels is the Executive Director of Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services. “We gather together as a community and recognize and honor, remember those who have died in the last year who were homeless, formerly homeless and those who were homeless advocates.”

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Sleet falls in Ann Morrison Park on a recent Sunday afternoon.  A few people mill around picnic tables, shivering.

Denie Tackett hauls boxes and bags of food from her car.

Tackett heads up Mosaic Street Ministry, a non-profit group that ministers to the homeless in Boise.  She’s been bringing food to local parks for the last five years. 

Boise Parks and Recreation / City of Boise

Boise will open a homeless day shelter for young children and their parents today.  Officials say the shelter will be a warm, safe place to go when families run out of other options this winter.

This is the fourth year in a row Boise Parks and Recreation will operate a temporary day-shelter for homeless families.  Parents with children can visit the Pioneer Neighborhood Community Center seven days a week.   

Spc. Joseph K. VonNida, Colorado Army National Guard / Official U.S. Army photo

During a one-night count in 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development found more than 76,000 veterans were homeless in the U-S.  For more than 20 years, the Veterans Administration and volunteers have tried to combat this problem with special events called Stand Downs.  Held all over the country, Stand Downs offer food, clothes, medical care, and a helping hand to veterans struggling on the street.  The Boise VA holds its annual Stand Down Saturday.