There are more than 700 veterans experiencing homelessness in the state of Idaho. A population that makes up just about 13 percent of the total population of homelessness in the Gem State. Unfortunately, Ada County sees a slightly higher rate (14 percent) of veterans experiencing homelessness.
A coalition of community partners are working to make a dent in that population with the construction of Valor Pointe, a 27-unit apartment complex offering health care, mental health counseling, and substance abuse treatment to our community’s veterans experiencing chronic homelessness.
Valor Pointe will follow the Housing First model similar to that of New Path Community Housing, which opened its doors in Boise in December 2018. Housing First recognizes the safety and stability a home can offer to resolve underlying issues. Those experiencing homelessness can access housing and do not need to graduate from a series of service programs beforehand. Supportive services are offered to aid stability and prevent returns to homelessness, should they be needed.
The development, which broke ground in July, is located off of State Street near downtown Boise and sits along a bus route and just a few short blocks away from the city’s greenbelt, allowing for alternative transportation and increased mobility throughout the city.
Once completed, Valor Pointe will include 27 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units. Two of those units will be fully accommodative for residents with accessibility limitations. The rest will be adaptable to ensure they can be modified to become accessible for those veterans with disabilities or mobility challenges. Valor Pointe will also include a community lounge, computer lab, onsite laundry, and a therapeutic garden.
Funding for Valor Pointe comes from a variety of different sources. Idaho Housing and Finance Association allocated $4.3 million in low-income housing tax credits, the City of Boise provided a little more than $1.5 million to the project, and The Home Partnership Foundation even launched a community fundraising campaign that raised more than $236,000 for the project. Operating costs for the facility will be paid for by the Boise City/ Ada County Housing Authorities in the form of rental vouchers.
“IHFA is excited to be a part of this community effort to provide safe and stable housing to some of our state’s veterans,” said Gerald Hunter, president of Idaho Housing and Finance Association. “This is a major step in bringing community resources together to build something we believe will help heal and restore the lives of many veterans experiencing homelessness.”
Valor Pointe is expected to be completed and housing veterans by Summer 2020.