BOISE, Idaho — There are more than 250 people living out of their cars in Ada County according to local housing-first non-profit, CATCH. They say 100 of those are families.
Jette Curtis is the director of CATCH's homeless outreach team and says for many homeless people, a car is their most valuable asset. It shields them from harsh weather and allows them to hold onto possessions.
Cassidy Landry spent 10 months living out of her car. She says it was nothing but stress and exhaustion.
Cassidy says she was in a bad relationship and lost her job. A month later, she was kicked out of her rental in Boise with no family nearby as a safety net.
"Normally I would just lock myself in a bathroom and I would do a birdbath. I became very familiar with dry shampoo," Cassidy said. "And there is also a building that I would go behind super late at night. I would sneak back there cause they had a hose. And I would use that hose to wash my hair."
Cassidy's situation got so bad her son had to move back to Texas to live with family. Cassidy said it was the hardest decision of her life.
"Had I'd not faced homelessness, I would have never had to make that decision that a mother should never have to make," Cassidy said.
Cassidy found CATCH after searching the internet for sources that could help her climb out of homelessness. She admits, she was skeptical at first.
"I thought 'there is no way,'" Cassidy said.
A month later, after working with a CATCH case manager, Cassidy found housing. She has since had a daughter and brought her son back to Boise.
"I don't know where I would be if they did not catch me. There is no way I could have done it on my own.," Cassidy said.
CATCH is part of a state-wide fundraiser for housing non-profits called "Avenues for Hope." They are taking donations throughout December and have measurable outcomes for every dollar donated.
- $7,500: You have ended homelessness for one family in the CATCH program!
- $1,000: You have paid for the deposit on a new home for a CATCH family!
- $300: You have furnished a room for a family in the CATCH program!
- $125: You have paid utilities for one month for a family in the CATCH program!
- $70: You have provided a bus pass and an application fee for one CATCH family!
- $30: You have paid the application fee for one CATCH Family to get a home!
- $20: You have provided a gas card for one CATCH Family to get to work and appointments!
"No one chooses to be homeless," Curtis said. "The common thread there is they are in crisis, and they need all the help they can get."
Donations to CATCH's "Avenues for Hope" fundraiser can be made here.
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