Welcome Housing is coming up on its 1 year anniversary, and the past 12 months have so many good memories of moments shared with people from all over the world. Here is the story of the first family who came through Welcome Housing:
On December 13th, 2016 our first guests moved into the first Welcome House. This family had been staying in a hotel for three weeks, and they jokingly asked their case manager “why didn’t you put us in here sooner?”. They immediately settled into the two bedroom apartment and felt free to cook a full meal. The connection with their host Dhafer was almost instant as well. They would share many conversations over chai and meals together over the 4 weeks ahead.
They are Somali in origin and spent the last 25 years in a refugee camp in Kenya, where all three children were born and raised. They have shared stories of living in a constant state of guardedness and fear of attacks, robberies, and killings from the surrounding local tribe. The meager law enforcement was hardly a deterrent to protect this camp.
Despite the loss of leaving behind dear friends and homeland, they truly feel relieved in Boise, and have expressed a genuine sense of peace and welcoming connection through Welcome Housing. We are still amazed at the difference such a simple service can make!
Now this single dad and his three children have their own apartment. The oldest daughter has her drivers license and is working with hope to become a nurse. The other two children are finishing high school.
Seeing this first family blessed by Welcome Housing has been such a joy. Since then another 2 couples have joined the LEAP team as hosts and 18 parties have stayed in Welcome Houses.
One way you can join us in celebrating the anniversary of Welcome Housing is by making a gift through the Avenues for Hope Housing Challenge. This online fundraiser begins just in one week, and is designed to strengthen housing-related nonprofits working with homeless and low-income households throughout Idaho. If you make an online gift of $25 or more between December 12-31 we will receive a 25% match on your gift! Donations will help us secure a larger share of the $200,000 in prizes and matching funds being offered. Help us with the expansion of Welcome Housing in purchasing 3 condos on the Boise bench. Please consider supporting us December 12-31 via avenuesforhope.org/designee/leap-charities