December 1, 2023
Winter Warming Across Ada County
Ada County, ID - In response to current and forecasted temperatures, Our Path Home is collaborating with partners to increase seasonal access to low-barrier daytime and overnight accommodations, as well as warming spaces across the valley for those experiencing homelessness.
Today, there are more than 2,500 individuals accessing homelessness services that will benefit from increased access to warm spaces provided by partners across our community this winter. The Idaho Harm Reduction Project, Treasure Valley YMCAs, Boise Public Library, Cathedral of the Rockies, and Corpus Christi House will provide increased daytime warming spaces. Interfaith Sanctuary and Boise Rescue Mission are providing both daytime and overnight warming spaces and will increase capacity to more people in need this winter.
“As part of the Boise Public Library’s strategic priority, our facilities welcome those who are in search of warmth and need to escape the winter elements. Our staff, alongside our Mental Health Coordinator, are available to help guide people to resources and programs both in the library and greater community that can best meet their needs.” Ashley Hammond, MHC, Boise Public Library
Additionally, to ensure everyone has the opportunity to stay safe and warm this winter, outreach teams will be in the community helping navigate resources, providing critical warming items, including efforts to ensure shelter access to everyone who may be out in the cold.
"We really need community support to keep those most vulnerable warm and safe," said Connor O’Hora, OPH CONNECT at CATCH, Outreach Team Lead.
To help meet the need this winter, members of the community can help by donating new or gently used critical items such as winter hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, socks, long johns, winter coats, waterproof coats, sleeping bags, and backpacks. Donations can be dropped off at any of Our Path Home partners including Corpus Christi House, CATCH, Interfaith Sanctuary, Idaho Harm Reduction Project or Boise Rescue Mission.
Volunteer opportunities are also available through Our Path Home partners. For more information on other ways to help, please email email@example.com.
For additional information on how to access community and winter resources, please call the Housing Crisis Hotline at 208-336-HOME (4663), visit the OPH Outreach team at CATCH on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or call the Mental Health Coordinator at (208)972-8216.
Our Path Home is the public/private partnership comprising more than 40 agencies committed to ensuring homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time in Ada County.
6,122 households accessed services within Our Path Home in 2022. 2,550 households accessed coordinated entry, 1,919 households accessed emergency shelter, and 598 households accessed homelessness prevention services. The 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) count found a 6% increase in overall homelessness in Ada County since 2020 demonstrating a community need for support.
July 14, 2023
Our Path Home Provides List of Cooling Spaces for Residents
Given the extreme heat, Our Path Home has coordinated cooling locations in the community that provide a cool daytime space. Our Path Home, the public-private partnership, has collaborated with local partners, to include the City of Boise, Interfaith Sanctuary, Corpus Christi House, Cathedral of the Rockies and the Treasure Valley Family YMCA to ensure that vulnerable people will have a place to recover from the intense heat.
These cooling locations will provide a place for people experiencing homelessness, and others who need to access them, reprieve during the hottest times in our community. This weekend, during regular business hours, residents will be able to get relief from the heat at the YMCA, Interfaith, Corpus Christi and City Libraries. More information on cooling resources for the rest of the summer will be made available next week.
Our Path Home partners are working diligently to ensure residents experiencing homelessness have the resources needed to be safe this summer. The team welcomes needed items, including reusable water bottles, bottled water, sports drinks, hats, sunscreen, and cooling rags. Donations can be delivered to Interfaith, Corpus Christi, CATCH or Idaho Harm Reduction Project. Interested residents can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 30, 2023
Our Path Home Releases 2023 Point-in-Time Count Data on Community Members Experiencing Homelessness
Our Path Home’s 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count found a total 687 community members in Ada County experiencing homelessness on the night of January 25, 2023. The results reflect a 6% increase in overall homelessness in the area since 2020, the last full PIT Count conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the region has seen an 8% reduction in homelessness since 2012.
Our Path Home - the public-private partnership working to ensure homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time - conducts the PIT Count throughout Ada County. The PIT Count is a one-night survey of community members, including families, who are either accessing emergency shelter or who are spending the night unsheltered, on the street in Ada County. “While the PIT Count data shows there is more work to be done, we know that Our Path Home partners have demonstrated track records of successfully supporting people on their journey from homelessness to permanent housing,” said Saidee Jones, Our Path Home Coordinator. “This moment of increased need calls for ongoing collaboration to bring solutions to scale in order to address homelessness in Ada County.”
The PIT Count data, while important, does not accurately reflect the total number of individuals that are experiencing homelessness in Ada County in real time. Our Path Home knows that the total number of community members that have been accessing shelter, support services, and seeking housing assistance during 2023 is larger than what the PIT Count is able to show.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of housing have had a significant impact on our community. The PIT Count is one of a few data points showing that more of our residents are experiencing homelessness than in the previous year,” said Casey Mattoon, Our Path Home Manager. “This data must be a call to action for our state and local governments, philanthropic partners, and community members to make it a top priority to increase support for evidence-based, holistic housing solutions.”
This year’s PIT Count was conducted by a group of staff and trained volunteers, the first fully staffed Count since the onset of the pandemic. Surveyors collected demographic information of those community members experiencing homelessness, including race, ethnicity, age, veteran status, and number of years experiencing homelessness.
Additional Highlights from the 2023 PIT Count
- The number of residents who are experiencing homelessness in Ada County increased from 620 people in 2022 to 687 people in 2023.
- The number of community members accessing emergency shelters rose from 540 people to 572, and the number of community members experiencing unsheltered homelessness, rose from 80 people to 115.
- Of the 687 community members who are experiencing homelessness in Ada County, 7.4% are between the ages of 18-24, while 7.2% are under the age of 18.
More about the PIT Count
The annual PIT Count is used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help determine how many people are experiencing homelessness across the United States. The Count does not provide an exact number of people experiencing homelessness for several reasons but is a critical metric to illustrate trends over time. Locally, Our Path Home analyzes the results of the Count with additional data points from the partnership’s Homeless Management Information System to assess need and gauge progress of Ada County’s local homeless response system.
Our Path Home is the public/private partnership comprising more than 40 agencies committed to ensuring homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time in Ada County.
December 29, 2023
Homelessness is a Housing Problem - Presented by Gregg Colburn
Our Path Home was incredibly grateful to have Dr. Gregg Colburn present on his book Homelessness is a Housing Problem back in early November. During the presentation, he clearly summarized the findings from his book and explain regional variation in rates of homelessness throughout the United States. With his research and statistics, he outlines why lack of housing is the reason for homelessness, and not addiction, joblessness, or mental health. Watch this 30min lecture, with Q&A from the audience, where he applied the findings from his book to the unique context of Boise.
Dr. Colburn is a Kennedy Associates Endowed Professor at University of Washington, where he enjoys teaching courses in housing, economics, and finance at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He maintains an active research agenda focused on housing policy, housing markets, housing affordability, and homelessness. Dr. Colburn is also actively engaged in a wide range of community efforts to address the acute housing crisis in the Puget Sound region. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Dr. Colburn entered academia after spending the first seventeen years of his professional life in the private sector.
August 18, 2022
Notice of Public Hearing on Proposed Grant Activities
The City of Boise is submitting a proposal to the Idaho Department of Commerce for an Idaho Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES in the amount of $1,300,000. The proposed project is to purchase a building, that would be leased to a partner agency within Our Path Home for use as center to provide essential daytime services for people experiencing homelessness. The partner operator would be selected, collaboratively by the Our Path Home Executive Committee and Housing and Community Development staff, to develop robust, permanent daytimes space and programming to connect people experiencing homelessness to much-needed resources including PPE, vaccines, mobile healthcare resources, case work to navigate mainstream resources, and other resources focusing on housing and integration.
The hearing will include a discussion of the need for the project, application process, the project’s scope of work, location, budget, schedule, and expected benefits.
The application for funding is available for review here:
Hard copy documents are available at the Housing and Community Development Division located at 150 N. Capitol Boulevard (2nd floor). All documents are available for review and comment starting August 18, 2022. Community members may submit comments beginning August 17, 2022 through September 1, 2022 by email (email@example.com), fax (208-384-4195) or mail (City of Boise, Attn: HCD PO Box 500, Boise, Idaho 83701-0500).
September 1, 2022 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM
Boise City Hall - Greenbelt Room (3rd Floor) | Virtual Meeting (Zoom)
- A public hearing will be held to obtain comment from interested individuals and/or organizations. Residents are invited to join virtually or in person on September 1, 1:00 – 2:00 PM.
- Physical location: City Hall (150 N. Capitol Blvd.) Greenbelt Room (3rd floor)
- Virtual meeting link: https://bit.ly/3K20FMT
- The hearing location is accessible to persons with physical disabilities. Participants may request reasonable accommodation and/or language interpretation/translation to facilitate participation by contacting the City’s Housing and Community Development Division between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm at (208) 570-6834, (800) 377-3529 TTY or by facsimile at (208) 384-4195.
The City of Boise prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, familial status, disability, or age.
This document can be provided in a format accessible to persons with disabilities and/or persons with limited English proficiency upon request.
July 6, 2022
Our Path Home Provides Map of Cooling Spaces for Residents
Our Path Home, the public-private partnership working to end homelessness in Ada County, in collaboration with local partners, including the City of Boise’s Parks and Recreation and Library departments, Interfaith Sanctuary, Corpus Christi House, Cathedral of the Rockies and the Treasure Valley Family YMCA, released a map of places in the community that provide a cool daytime space during the warm summer months.
The locations on the Cooling Space Map are welcoming and will provide a place for people experiencing homelessness, and others who need to access cooling space, reprieve from the hottest months in our community – between July 6 – August 31. View the map here to see more information about the locations including services and resources offered, and what people can expect when using the spaces.
Our Path Home partners are working diligently to ensure residents experiencing homelessness have the resources needed to be safe this summer. The team welcomes needed items, including reusable water bottles, bottled water, sunscreen, and cooling rags. Interested residents are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By working together, we can meet the public health need during the summer and support our most vulnerable community members including families and individuals experiencing homelessness.
For anyone experiencing a housing crisis, you can get connected to help by calling the Housing Crisis Hotline: 208-336-HOME (4663)
December 29, 2021
Our Path Home Opens Warm Up Day Shelter for Residents Experiencing Homelessness
Our Path Home, the public-private partnership working to end homelessness in Ada County, in collaboration with local partners, opened a temporary winter warm up day shelter for community members experiencing homelessness.
The warm up day shelter, located at 511 S. Americana Boulevard in downtown Boise, is open now through March 31, 2022 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. seven (7) days a week. Hot beverages will be provided.
To ensure the safety of everyone, including those entering the warm up day shelter and staff, people will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon entry. Face masks are required for everyone over the age of two, if someone does not have a face mask, one will be provided. For those who need it, transportation will be made available to access COVID-19 testing, vaccination, or other healthcare needs.
The day shelter will keep our most vulnerable community members warm and safe through the cold winter months. By providing additional congregate space to better physical distance during the ongoing community spread of COVID-19, the warm up day shelter enables Our Path Home to better serve this population, including families.
Residents interested in supporting the nonprofits operating the winter warm up day shelter and our community’s housing nonprofits can donate through Avenues for Hope, now through December 31, 2021.
December 9, 2021
Our Path Home Releases Supportive Housing Plan
Our Path Home, the public-private partnership working to end homelessness in Ada County, released its five-year Supportive Housing Plan. The plan identifies the projected number of permanent supportive housing units needed, along with recommendations on how to develop and bring to market more than 250 units of housing that will serve our most vulnerable community members. Permanent supportive housing follows the Housing First model, which provides housing to individuals experiencing homelessness alongside supportive services.
“This plan is a huge win in identifying the data-informed need for permanent supportive housing in our community and provides a five-year strategy to make sure that that need is met”, said Stephanie Day, the Executive Committee Chair or Our Path Home. “There are so many incredible partners that have pulled up to the table with us under the shared goal of building new housing solutions for those experiencing homelessness and we are ready to get started.”
Our Path Home worked in partnership with Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and Agnew::Beck on stakeholder engagement, the development of the report and the recommendations within it, which include
- Establishment of a Supportive Housing Investment Fund that will be used to address critical funding gaps for permanent supportive housing.
- Advocacy Path + Timeline for Medicaid Policy Change to support the long-term sustainability of the permanent supportive housing pipeline, which is tied to securing more ongoing services funded by Medicaid.
- Continued partnership with the Boise City Ada County Housing Authorities on formalizing a rental assistance commitment to assist 200-250 households for new permanent supportive housing units.
- Create a Permanent Supportive Housing Sub-Committee to Own the Permanent Supportive Housing Pipeline Implementation. The team will be charged with overseeing the entire pipeline to achieve goals and manage individual projects.
“This process of planning collaboratively has been helpful to all partners in identifying how we can combine the resources each of us have together through this work so we can realize the most meaningful impact possible,” said Deanna Watson, Executive Director of the Boise City and Ada County Housing Authorities. "We are eager to continue working with Our Path Home as we figure out how the Housing Authorities can bring housing and rental assistance to support this important work.”
The plan aligns with, and builds off of, the City of Boise’s housing strategies. The City of Boise is the lead agency in Our Path Home and is committed to doing everything it can to ensure that there is housing available to those who choose to call Boise home. The City stands ready to make smart investments and support the goals and recommendations within this plan.
“The City of Boise is happy to participate with all of the other organizations working on this important issue that aligns with our priority to ensure A Home for Everyone in our community,” said Maureen Brewer, Housing & Community Development Senior Manager at the City of Boise. “Due largely to the leadership of Mayor McLean and the current Boise City Council members, we are looking at a robust list of resources that we are getting ready to deploy to support this once in a generation opportunity to move the needle on ending homelessness in our community.”
The Our Path Home Permanent Supportive Housing Plan was developed in partnership Our Path Home partners, including the City of Boise, Boise City/Ada County Housing Authorities, CATCH, Idaho Housing and Finance Association, The Pacific Companies, Terry Reilly Health Services, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and St. Luke’s Health System.
CONTACT: Lana Graybeal
City of Boise
Sr. Communications Manager, Strategic Initiatives
October 8, 2021
Our Path Home Executive Committee Votes to Support Interfaith Sanctuary’s Emergency Shelter Proposal on State Street
(BOISE, Idaho) – Last week, the Our Path Home Executive Committee voted unanimously to support Interfaith Sanctuary’s new emergency shelter proposal on State Street. The vote occurred after a written proposal evaluation was presented and robust discussion occurred between Executive Committee members about the emergency shelter’s alignment with system shelter needs and shelter best practices, among other things.
Abstaining from the vote were members Jodi Peterson (Executive Director of Interfaith Sanctuary) and Brady Ellis (Vice President, Housing Support Programs at Idaho Housing and Finance Association). Ultimately, the Our Path Home Executive Committee determined that Interfaith Sanctuary’s proposal was both feasible and necessary while representing a huge step forward for Boise’s emergency shelter system. Highlights of the new emergency shelter include:
- Our Path Home CONNECT and other partners will be provided space inside of the shelter to bring services directly to shelter guests, a trauma-informed care practice that will center guest needs and comfort
- The total beds will help meet both current and future need based on a system shelter needs analysis - 94 beds designated for families significantly address the current 111 family bed gap in Boise’s shelter system; 22 beds for medically fragile individuals provides a much needed ability to care for guests that have advanced medical needs and facilitates a new, much needed patient discharge mechanisms for hospital system partners
- The building design meaningful address a major reason why individuals don’t currently access shelter, including the ability to store possessions both in shared and individual storage spaces
- Shelter operations are aligned with national best practices, including - 24/7 guest access, housing planning for all guests, increased data collection and guest behavioral expectations
The unanimous vote to support the proposal means the Our Path Home partnership will engage in activities related to the proposal’s next steps. As Interfaith Sanctuary moves forward with a Conditional Use Permit application, Our Path Home will firmly support the project as a necessary and important part of our system response to homelessness.
“Our Path Home is proud to support Interfaith Sanctuary’s proposal for a new emergency shelter on State Street. The shelter will provide a much needed increase in capacity to provide shelter for families in our community that are experiencing their very own housing crisis with the care, dignity and services they need,” said Stephanie Day, Chair of the Our Path Home Executive Committee. “Interfaith’s proposal helps our entire system better service people experiencing homelessness by allowing Interfaith to do shelter better and while ensuring the partnership’s limited resources continue to focus on more permanent solutions - housing strategies.”
“We are so grateful for the feedback and collaboration we have received from our partners at Our Path Home. Their support of this project validates the work our organization has done to design a shelter that provides safe space, community, and supportive services to all those who need it.” said Jodi Peterson, Executive Director Interfaith Sanctuary. “As we continue to engage the community and move toward a decision on our Conditional Use Permit application, we remain committed to serving our guests with dignity and grace while working on building relationships in the neighborhoods where we work.”
Our Path Home is the public/private partnership comprising more than 40 agencies working today to end homelessnes in Ada County. Our Path Home is governed by the Executive Committee - a strategic planning body that is responsible for ensuring Our Path Home meets federal standards and local needs.
Interfaith Sanctuary is the only low-barrier emergency shelter operator in the City of Boise, serving people of all genders, races, religions, and sexual orientations, as well as families who are experiencing homelessness. They are committed to providing safe overnight emergency shelter, programming and supportive services to transition our guests out of homelessness.
CONTACT: Stephanie Day
Our Path Home Chair
Executive Director, CATCH