First Advisor

Stephanie Bryson

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Social Work and University Honors


Social Work


Homelessness -- Government policy -- Idaho -- Boise, Homelessness -- Law and legislation -- Idaho -- Boise, Homeless persons -- Idaho -- Boise




As of 2018, Boise, Idaho is the fastest growing city in the entire United States. As the city continues to grow housing and homelessness is becoming a greater concern. The means of addressing homelessness in Boise, however, has relied heavily on criminalization. In 2009, a plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the City of Boise challenging city bans on camping and sleeping in public. The case, Martin v. City of Boise (formerly Bell v. City of Boise), has set a precedent across the country regarding criminalization of homelessness, positing the laws as a violation of the Eighth Amendment. This thesis uses Martin v. City of Boise as a case study to examine criminalization of homelessness and how communities, advocates, and cities can move forward in regards to housing and homelessness.


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An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in University Honors and Social Work and Sociology.

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