Aging camper

An aging camper where a homeless couple lives is parked near the Connector in downtown Boise

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Scott Ruward loves being free, writes BoiseDev.com reporter Margaret Carmel. With his mixed-breed white dog by his side, he rattles around the streets of Boise and anywhere else he chooses to travel in a decades-old RV. The vehicle, which is likely too old and in disrepair to get into a traditional campground or trailer park, is packed to the rafters with all of his belongings. He doesn’t have access to running water, a bathroom, or an electricity hook up.

But, he’s not camping. Ruward, 56, parks his RV on the outskirts of downtown Boise and moves his vehicle every three days to skirt city parking regulations. According to the dictionary definition, he is experiencing homelessness, even though that’s not how he sees it.

Ruward is one of a growing number of residents experiencing homelessness living in aging RVs and cars in and around downtown Boise. Nearby property managers and the City of Boise started to receive a wave of complaints about sanitation and loitering about the people who live in the vehicles, as the numbers have risen, prompting a new outreach initiative. You can read Carmel's full story here at boisedev.com, or pick up Saturday's print edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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