Over the past 9 months, Welcome Housing has hosted 70 people! Throughout those months, a lot has been going on around here. LEAP has been expanding, growing, and learning. What continues to amaze us is the generosity and support of the Boise community.
Opening a Second Welcome House
Welcome Housing first opened with the rental unit on Leadville Avenue back in December 2016. Another rental unit was added in February 2017 on Boise Ave through the kindness of Janice and Gary Tuttle. They are renting their guesthouse to us to allow us to sublease it to newly arrived refugee families and act as hospitable hosts to our guests. Read more about the generous hosts!
This summer two full-time staff members were added to increase capacity. Molly is researching affordable housing to create a great affordable housing resource for the community and to advance LEAP’s greater vision of seeking creative affordable housing solutions. Erika is working closely with Amanda to increase community member involvement and support as well as coordinate the Welcome Housing program.
Who are the guests?
The guests of Welcome Housing thus far are a great representation of those resettling to Idaho. They have come from 7 different countries: Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Eritrea, Burma, Afghanistan, and Ethiopia. Half of our guests have been children.
How has Welcome Housing helped?
The 70 people who have stayed saved an average of $735 per family. Estimated total cost savings to Welcome House guests thus far is $17,535, which would have been spent in hotels. These hotel costs would be consuming the vast majority of their limited resettlement funds before covering essential costs like housing application fees, rental deposit, a cell phone, refurbished computer, or a down-payment on an inexpensive car.
Adding a Third Welcome House
Tim and Eliza Agenbroad are currently remodeling their detached garage into a Welcome House, with the help of a Home Depot grant. They are set to host their first family at the end of September. Their love for Christ inspires them to love and welcome refugees, as well as work full-time through YWAM.
Fundraising for Bench Condos
LEAP is currently in a fundraising campaign to purchase 3 condos on the Boise bench. With this purchase an estimated 144 people per year would be served and would save a total of $36,300. This service is not only designed to provide financial relief, but also emotional restoration through hospitality and community building. A successful ice cream fundraiser was held at the Agenbroad’s this month to spread the vision of Welcome Housing. We still have a few weeks left of fundraising as LEAP is set to close on the condos on October 1st.
Resettlement is expected to open back up sometime in November. In the meantime, we have still had a few families arriving on special visas, keeping Welcome Housing occupied. Later in the winter, Welcome Housing will be preparing to open a few of the condos. This means they will need to be furnished and ready to go. More opportunities to get involved will be opening up as resettlement comes back online and more units are added to the program. Check out all the ways to get involved.
In these past few months of operating Welcome Housing, we have already seen how much a warm welcome means to our new community members, and look forward to more new Welcome Housing beginnings this year.