The homeless issue has come back to haunt both Boise and Idaho elected officials. The statehouse was recently surrounded by 'homeless camps' to emphasize our area's lack of affordable housing. Back in 2011, the group Occupy Wall Street lived in camps around the old statehouse. Eventually, they left after days and days of damage to the old statehouse lawns.  

Today, we have a similar encampment type that highlights the two conflicting worlds of homeownership in Idaho. Home prices continue to flourish, and homebuyers are coming into the Gem State with their checkbooks ready to buy their dream Idahome. On the other hand, rents have continued to escalate, with one publication stating that rents have risen over twenty percent in the last year.   


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As we've covered here, the Interfaith Sanctuary has turned folks away because they do not have enough room for the overflow of homeless individuals. Boise Mayor Lauren McLean, who was elected as a listening mayor, has stated the current scene at the statehouse.  

Hands of homeless with a paper cup

"We've been getting some questions from concerned residents about a tent demonstration which is set up on state property near the Idaho Statehouse. In the cases where people are experiencing homelessness, the Our Path Home team, which includes City of Boise staff, continues to offer services, including available shelter beds."

The mayor continued to stress that the homeless issue is one of her top priorities: 

"While we are working on developing permanent supportive housing for Boiseans experiencing homelessness, the Our Path Home team is also constantly working to serve their immediate needs in these frigid temperatures. This includes the winter warm-up day shelter at 511 S. Americana Boulevard, contributing $10,000 to the Severe Weather Emergency Overflow Program, and our street teams ensuring that every person knows they have safe, warm places to go."  

If you are looking for immediate assistance, the mayor recommends contacting the Housing Crisis Hotline: 208-336-HOME (4663).

A nonprofit Faith-Based Solution?

On another note, the privately funded Boise Rescue Mission has announced that they are opening Sonrise Manner. The facility located on Curtis Street in Boise will offer up to eighty apartments for folks transitioning from homelessness.  

Boise Rescue Mission CEO, Reverend Bill Roscoe explained the impact of the new home in a release:  

"The greatest need for new facilities in the Boise Valley is for this type of supportive, transitional housing, and we are growing a program to help meet that need."

The Mission continues to better our community through your donations. If you would like to help, you can contact them at

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