Fighting Homelessness in the Treasure Valley: How Renters and Property Managers can help

For those of us fortunate enough to have a warm, dry place to sleep at night, it is important to address that with the rapidly rising cost of housing in Idaho, many are finding themselves unable to afford a place to live. Homelessness is a difficult issue facing the Boise area, but community advocates have created programs that help. Investors, landlords, and tenants alike can assist these programs in giving back to their community. Here’s how.

Organizations like Our Path Home and programs through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association and Boise VA Medical Center seek to improve the lives of those affected by homelessness and get them back on their feet. Investing in the community makes the Treasure Valley a better place to live for all of us, and programs like these could always use donations and volunteers.

Homelessness Assistance Programs in Boise and Beyond

These three organizations and programs are helping Idahoans experiencing homelessness get back on their feet. Here are the details: 

Our Path Home

Our Path Home is a partnership of over 30 agencies both public and private working to end homelessness in Ada County. Our Path Home is dedicated to quickly responding to economic hardships that result in homelessness, preventing them where they can. The organization uses a Housing First model to ensure that children and families are placed into safe and stable homes as quickly as possible. A year after receiving housing assistance, 80% of Our Path families remain in stable homes. 

  • Mission: Prevent homelessness where it can be prevented, and quickly respond to the needs of those experiencing a housing crisis.

  • Structure: Public-private partnerships governed by an Executive Committee.

  • Services: Prevention, street outreach, emergency shelter, coordinated entry, and supportive housing.

  • How to help: Our Path Home accepts donations of money, items and furniture, and time. Find out how on their CATCH webpage.

Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA)

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association offers a wide variety of housing assistance services, including homelessness service programs. Among these are its Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions operations, with the goal of bettering living situations in the long-term. IHFA is a self-sufficient corporation that also operates as an agent of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, distributing grants and federal funding to aid the community. 

  • Mission: Quickly rehouse families affected by homelessness, provide emergency support, and promote self-sufficiency.

  • Structure: Private organization utilizing public grants and assistance.

  • Services: Short- and long-term housing solutions, support, street outreach, emergency shelter, rental assistance, and housing relocation.

  • How to help: IHFA works with the Home Partnership Foundation to assist families. They accept donations here.

Boise VA Medical Center

Veterans are at a higher risk of becoming homeless, according to a CDC report, and Boise’s VA Medical Center works to aid at-risk and affected veterans each day. Through specialized programs in conjunction with federal and community organizations, the VA offers services that strive to prevent homelessness.

  • Mission: Proactively seek out veterans in need of assistance. Connect veterans to housing, health care, and employment, and expand support network through partnerships.

  • Structure: Government organization.

  • Services: Supportive housing vouchers, grants and per diem assistance, domiciliary care, and legal assistance.

  • How to help: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs suggests methods of reaching out to homeless veterans to help them find assistance. You can find tools and information on their webpage here.

The Boise area is a community known for its kindness. We see that kindness in the people and programs that work to help Idaho families and individuals experiencing homelessness get back on their feet. For renters, owners, and investors fortunate enough to have a place to sleep each night, you can consider giving back to the community through assisting these three organizations and more like them in combatting homelessness. 

208 Community

Idaho’s population boom and rapid rise of housing costs have had negative effects on a portion of the community. How do you think Idaho cities can best address homelessness and the lack of affordable housing that contributes to it? What are some other resources for assisting those experiencing homelessness that we might not have mentioned? Share your thoughts, comments, and experiences with 208.properties on social media. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Summary

It is important that those of us fortunate enough to have a warm place to sleep every night take a moment to recognize the problem of homelessness in the Treasure Valley. Some Idahoans are fighting homelessness through assistance programs that support housing and self-sufficiency, but these programs can always use the help of more community advocates who will spread the word or donate their time or money. For real estate owners, investors, or renters looking to give back to the community, here’s how.