Denver may be taught classes from Boise’s tenting ban

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DENVER – Life on the street is not easy and finding a place to stay is not that easy for many of the Denver homeless.

“It’s pretty hard. It’s just an unsafe environment. Typically, shelters have a deadline to get a bed and they are usually full before the deadline and my husband and I have to stay in separate accommodations, ”a woman named Angela told FOX31.

Angela and her husband were homeless for almost three years.

The city and county of Denver are currently appealing a judge’s ruling that the city’s urban camping ban is unconstitutional and criminalizes the homeless.

Meanwhile, many in Denver are now looking for another city to orientate themselves.

Boise, Idaho, found a way to overcome legal challenges to banning urban camping by slightly changing the law.

The city is now demanding that its police officers check if shelters are available before enforcing their camping ban to avoid legal challenges.

“We are happy to be mentors for other cities. Working together is the key. It really means meeting people where they are, ”said Jodi Peterson, executive director of Boise’s Interfaith Sanctuary Shelter.

However, some argue that what works in Boise may not work in Denver.

Andy McNulty represented the man who successfully challenged the Denver camping ban. He says Boise’s approach is impractical for the police to take people to in a city the size of Denver with hundreds more homeless people and so many more shelters.

“It’s not the solution that will end homelessness, that’s for sure. I think it’s a waste of resources, ”said McNulty. “Even if Denver wrote that every officer had to call to see if a bed was vacant, it doesn’t work for single fathers with one child or couples or people with pets.”

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