Last year more than 600 people in the Treasure Valley were able to transition out of homelessness and sustain long-term jobs and housing. This incredible statistic comes out of the Boise Rescue Mission.
The shelter provides treatment services, helps develop job skills and other programs that attribute to those 600 success stories.
“The folks that come to us, we then assign a case manager and that case manager looks at what has caused you to come to us, what caused you to lose your home or your job, or why are you here,” said chief of operations Jean Lockhart.
For some it's addiction coupled with years of domestic and sexual abuse.
“I started drinking at the age of four due to the sexual abuse in my family,” said Boise Rescue Mission Thrift Store manager Flora Suebell.
Alcohol, drugs and sex were all Suebell ever knew.
“The sexual abuse, the alcohol abuse just went on and on," said Suebell. "My father died when I was 12 so that part of it stopped, but I already knew way too much about sex and alcohol and all this kind of stuff. When I was 16 my mom let a 26-year-old man move in the house with us and I got pregnant.”
Suebell entered the mission's New Life program after being faced with a choice, seven years in prison for meth or a chance at a new beginning.
“When they let me come to the program instead of jail, it was only three weeks in and I accepted Christ and my life completely changed,” said Suebell.
Now 10 years sober, Suebell works as a manger in the mission’s thrift store and owns her own home and car. She attributes all her success to the shelter.
“We have drug and alcohol recovery, we have work accountability, we have work search, we have GED, help with resumes, help with life skills, veterans, human trafficking, kid's programs, pretty much trauma,” said Lockhart.
Kendell Thurnau, who also works for the Boise Rescue Mission, comes from a similar troubled background.
“I never imagined that my life would be the way it is today. I never could imagine that when I was down in my lowest point, when I was sticking needles in my arm, using meth and worrying about how I’m going to pay for that fraud that I did to make this happen. If I could work that hard in that life then I knew I could do that sober. I knew I had potential,” said Thurnau.
Thurneau says she too could not have been where she is today if it wasn’t for the programs and services the rescue mission provided.
“I didn’t have to pay for this program it was free, that the best part it was given to us, our payment is staying sober and doing good and helping other girls and family and doing the right thing,” she said.