COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) - Homelessness in northern Idaho's Kootenai County costs taxpayers some $6.5 million annually for social and government services, according to a recently completed draft plan aimed at addressing the problem in the region over the next decade.
The document has been in the works for more than a year.
Mike Kennedy, a Coeur d'Alene city councilman, says now he aims to get surrounding communities involved.
The struggle with addressing homelessness was highlighted last October, when law-enforcement officials in Coeur d'Alene gave about two dozen homeless people just a day to clear out of "Hobo Alley," a makeshift camp for the destitute on the outskirts of town.
According to the city's new plan, homelessness in the region is getting worse, not better, due to the current state of both the national and local economy.