The city of Boise and a group of partner agencies broke ground Wednesday on a new housing development designed to help the chronically homeless in the community.
It’s hard to pin down the number of homeless people on the streets in any community. But during a snapshot count on one night last January, 833 people were living on the streets or staying in shelters in Ada County.
City spokesman Mike Journee says Boise has been looking for a way to break the cycle of homelessness for this particularly vulnerable population.
“These are people that are in and out of shelters on a regular basis and have a mitigating circumstance such as substance abuse, such as mental illness,” says Journee.
That led to a joint effort between Boise, Idaho Housing and Finance, hospitals like St. Luke’s and St. Alphonsus, and other service providers to pitch in to build a 40-apartment housing development. Called New Path Community Housing, Journee says it will help those most in need.
“It’s a project that is intended to help chronically homeless folks by giving them a roof over their head, giving them a safe, secure home and then providing wrap-around services to allow them to address the root causes of their homelessness,” says Journee.
Along with emergency housing, partner agencies like the hospitals and Terry Reilly Health Services will help residents with specialized care.
“To create teams of folks who will be at the ready, on site, to help address any concerns or challenges, to help with the counseling services and with the other things these folks need in order to break this cycle,” says Journee.
Services like medical care, substance abuse treatment, financial counseling and mental health treatment will be provided at the new housing development. Journee says the ultimate goal is to give people the skills they need to get into homes of their own. He says New Path should be up and running by this time next year.
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