Cinemarquee - Community House

Community House, Inc.
375 South 13th Street
Boise, Idaho, 83702
Phone: (208) 389-9840
Fax: (208) 389-9773

The mission of the Community House is to help address the basic needs of the homeless or persons at risk of becoming homeless and to enable the to lead productive and dignified lives. The philosophy of Community House is to be a "starting point...not a destination" and "to offer a hand up, not a hand out."

COMMUNITY HOUSE, located in Boise, Idaho, is an innovative facility that uses an extensive network of citizens, providers and resources to help homeless people live independently. The facility contains an emergency shelter for both single and families, transitional housing, a child care center and single room occupancy (SRO) housing, all coupled with supportive services.

Founded by a volunteer board and with the assistance of a coalition of social service agencies, civic groups and a partnership with the city of Boise and Idaho corporations, Community House opened its doors in November 1994. It provides emergency shelter for 68 single men, 16 single women and ten to twenty families (depending on the family size) while also offering transitional housing for ten families and 38 SRO units for low-income formerly homeless individuals. Since opening, Community House has provided 150,000 bed nights to 5,000 (unduplicated count) homeless men, women and children. The building construction and land costs totaled 2.6 million and due to the efforts of the community and the City of Boise, a mortgage was not necessary - the project development and construction costs were paid in full.

Community House offers on-site case management and a child care center licensed for 28 children. Many other agencies offer on-site or adjacent site services to the residents such as medical care, life skills training, job hunting assistance, addiction and mental health services and help applying for federal assistance. Caseworkers assess homeless individuals for their basic needs and then develop a plan to address the causes of their homelessness. If an individual or family are not interested in making life changes, their stay at Community House is limited. Graduate interns from Boise State University and social work student help limited staff provide the support for the intake process and group sessions.

The on-site child care center serves children from six weeks old through six years and is dedicated to providing high quality group child care and educational programming in a therapeutic developmentally appropriate setting. These young children in homeless families lack social skills, tend to fear separation from a parent, are unaccustomed to sitting down from a meal and may not know how to use eating utensils. These youngsters do not interact well with other children. Those of school age feel looked down upon by other youth, are generally behind in their studies, dressed shabbily and disruptive in class. Their attention spans are very limited. Fighting back with words and fists are often the response to taunts of other youth. It takes special training and understanding on the part of the teachers in both the school and child care settings to effectively work with the children who are homeless and living in a shelter.

It was the hope of the founding board that Community House would concentrate on the youth - to help the see possibilities other than living on the street or in a shelter - to help them identify individual abilities and increase self-worth. These youths deserve a better future and the Community House board and staff are committed to provide them with the tools necessary to achieve that.

It costs close to $60,000 pre month to operate this 34,000 square foot facility housing 150 to over 200 homeless individuals a night. Sources of funding are CDBG, Supportive Housing, FEA and ESGP grants; contributions; grants and foundations; United Way; special events; Ada County government; child care fees through state and federal funds; and program fees from the residents ($3 per night adult). This past year, due to staff and volunteer turnovers, funding activities were minimal. And there is an anticipated drop in the 1998 CDBG GRANT AWARDS FROM $180,000 TO $125,000. The Board has now focused it attention on funding issues. But basically, with corporations tightening up in the donation area and federal dollars on the decline, Community House must turn to the community - whether it be in Boise, Idaho, the USA or overseas - for financial support. Community House also seeks retired social workers who would be willing to volunteer time and come on board and help with the case management component of our facility.

WISH LIST To help stretch limited resources, Community house needs donations. A listing of items needed follows.

To help stretch a limited staff, Community House seeks volunteers for a child care center, the case Management component and the general operation and maintenance activities involved in running a 34,000 square foot facility that houses around 200 people per night.

To help fund the "heart and soul" of Community House - the case management component, Community House seeks financial support.

If you can help us, send us your financial support and/or information on how you can help us to:
   Joy Buersmeyer
   Executive Director
   Community House, Inc.
   575 South 13th Street
   Boise, Idaho, 83704 USA
   PHONE: (208) 389-9870
   FAX: (208) 389-9773

Operational Items:

Child Care Center:



Volunteer Opportunities

Teen Group

Facility Upkeep

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