A move to put Boise’s chronically homeless into homes is finally taking shape. The New Path Community Housing Project will be built on the corner of 22nd Street and Fairview Avenue after the demolition of the old Twin Dragon Restaurant at the end of August.
Crews will then break ground on the new 40-unit complex on September 20th.
The New Path Community Housing Project is a part of the city of Boise’s Housing First Initiative. A program put into place three months after Boise’s tent city, also known as “Cooper Court” was cleared out. The project will provide housing for those who are chronically homeless in the community.
“It's a perfect pilot to show you what happens when you give a homeless person a place to be,” Jodi Peterson with Interfaith Sanctuary said.
Peterson says the new housing complex will have an immediate impact on the community because it will provide both counseling and wraparound services for all those who live there.
“It's a positive domino effect, if that's possible, because it does, it takes someone with so much need and gives them a place to be; where that building it’s their job to take care of that need and then it allows someone like Interfaith Sanctuary or the Boise Rescue Mission to take that next guest and give them the service that they need,” Peterson said.
In order to qualify for the housing, a person must be chronically homeless, meaning 12 consecutive months of being homeless or had a period of homelessness over three years that adds up to 12 months.
“We have an intake service provider that's going to be determining eligibility for these candidates and they'll route them into this particular project,” Gerald Hunter with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association said.
The hope is by providing these wraparound services, people will eventually be able to move out on their own.
“Some of these tenants may have some sort of disability that prevents them from being able to work out of this situation and so this may be a longer-term housing option for them,” Hunter said.
The complex is able to do this because of project-based vouchers, which will cover a majority of the tenant’s rent.
“It’s the first time it's ever happened that a building has been designated completely voucher supported. Actually, it's groundbreaking,” Peterson said.
“Major funding packages have come together, are there and so we're just getting some of the final approvals through right now, some of the last-minute things before we're able to actually break ground on this site,” Hunter said.
The complex is expected to be completed by the end of next summer.