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As the population in Boise has boomed and affordable housing has become increasingly hard to find, more people are turning toward living in their cars as a last resort.

As the population in Boise has boomed and affordable housing has become increasingly hard to find, more people are turning toward living in their cars as a last resort, writes Idaho Press reporter Margaret Carmel. Right now, she reports, there are 166 families with kids living in their cars in Ada County. Carmel interviewed three people who are either doing this now, or who have done so in the past. One of these stories ended in tragedy.

Stephanie Day, executive director of Charitable Assistance to Community’s Homeless, said current estimates show 47 percent of the homeless families countywide are living in their cars. In January, the federally mandated Point-In-Time Count found there were 713 people experiencing homelessness on a single night in Ada County, though that count is often considered a low estimate. You can read Carmel’s full report here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up today’s Sunday/Monday edition of the Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

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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