BOISE, Idaho —
In 2019, Our Path Home did a point-in-time count of those experiencing homelessness. They are required to do this during the last ten days in January by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
On January 23, 2019, statewide there were 2,315 men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. 713 of them were in Ada County.
According to Charitable Assistance to Community's Homeless (CATCH), a local non-profit dedicated to helping those who are homeless, that number has more than doubled in the last three years.
As of March 29, 2022, there are 1,448 homeless men, women, and children in Ada County, 991 adults, and 457 kids. That accounts for 891 households, 272 of which are families with kids.
April Kuper is married, and a mother of four, who is currently getting assistance from Interfaith Sanctuary living at their hotel shelter in Boise. Five people in a two-bed hotel room.
She’s a Borah High School graduate, who, last June, was told she had 30 days to move out of her rental unit. That was the same time she found out she has stage two breast cancer.
Kuper and her family were renting a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house on the bench for $1325 a month. Then they got an email from the homeowner last June.
“We were fine. And then the owner said they didn't want us there,” Kuper said. “And we're like, okay. And then I couldn't find a place. And we're like, oh, shoot, what do we do? So that's when we started bouncing around.”
April has family in town, but her mom’s house, a two-bedroom, is too small, and her sister is already living there.
“We had enough money to be able to stay in hotels for a little while. And then a friend picked us up and we stayed in his separate, extra room,” Kuper said. “My eldest child is an adult, so he stayed with us, and my mom has such a small house. So, the three younger ones stayed with my mom. And I made it so that they could stay and go to the school over there. And made sure everything was set up so that it was a little, you know, a little less stressful for them, try to keep things normal. But it was really hard being separated because I'm so used to my family being close.”
Her husband works 12 hours a day for a healthcare provider and makes $15 an hour.
“There's no problem with money right now. I mean, my husband makes enough that if there was, if rent wasn't like $2,000, we could have a place,” Kuper said. “You know, we've never had a problem with finding a place. And we're right in the gray area right now. Rent's a little too high, but we don't qualify for, like, the low-income family. We're right in the middle. So, I mean, we can afford things, but the rent's too high right now. But we're working on it.”
CATCH told KTVB they are helping 290 families with kids get affordable housing and they have 237 on a waiting list. A list they could be on for two years.
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