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Jesse Tree of Idaho offering support for those facing eviction in Ada and Canyon Counties

Jesse Tree has resources and information for those facing eviction looking for help.

BOISE, Idaho — After a brief lapse this week, a new federal eviction moratorium is back in place to help protect people whose ability to pay rent was impacted by COVID-19. The sudden change from an expiring moratorium last weekend to a brand new one this week caught some by surprise.

“Definitely there is a lot of confusion about what is going on with that and how people can utilize the moratorium,” said Ali Rabe, executive director of Jesse Tree. “The most recent moratorium extension just added one additional eligibility component where people need to reside in a high-risk COVID area. That does apply to Ada and Canyon County and most other counties in Idaho."

Jesse Tree is a non-profit organization that provides emergency rental and security deposit assistance, as well as case management to households in Canyon and Ada County at risk of eviction and homelessness.

“There are resources available for people right now and that’s part of why the moratorium was extended again because there are still millions of dollars in the State of Idaho that are going unspent because people either can’t or are not accessing those resources," Rabe said. "So if people need help, they should definitely reach out."

If you are looking for help and want to start with questions about how to get help, Jesse Tree has compiled a large list of popular questions and the answers to them. 

Beyond that, Jesse Tree has caseworkers ready to help people in need beyond just helping them pay rent. For some, it’s already beyond that point and they’ve found themselves in a legal battle.

“We work in court every single week and we try to intervene in as many cases as we can but by the time people get to court, they don’t usually reach out," Rabe said. "I think a lot of people are just embarrassed. This is happening to a lot of people for the first time."  

Jesse Tree works alongside organizations like Boise City and Ada County Housing Authorities and Idaho Housing and Finance that offer major programs for those in need like the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Jesse Tree can supplement that assistance with tailored help.

“The money is out there, apply and reach out," Rabe said. "Our model at Jesse Tree is different from other sources of funding in that we do provide a case manager or advocate to be with the person throughout the process."

Rabe explained that they offer comprehensive help, not just some quick advice.

“We are tailoring our services to what they need," she said. "So our case managers can work with people on their budget, their income and expenses, we can help them increase their income and cut expenses. We can connect them with benefits or resources, or other jobs that they need to stay housed in the long-term. We also provide a landlord mediation component to work closely with a landlord throughout the process."

You can connect with Jesse Tree resources on their website or by calling them directly. They can also be a good resource to connect people in need with other programs as well. The bottom line from community advocates: there is help available and there are people that want to help you.

“The help is available, don’t be afraid to ask for it," Rabe said. "We come to work every day to prevent evictions and homelessness and we want people to reach out when they are in that situation."

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