Because of the affordable housing shortage in Boise, and the tight rental market, approximately 50% of newly arrived refugees get “stuck” in extended-stay hotels for up to 4 to 6 weeks. This is expensive and can drain a family’s resettlement fund before it is used for essentials (like a deposit on an apartment). These hotels also make for a difficult transition, as space is confining and the experience isolating.
Welcome Housing can provide a “soft landing” for Boise’s newest residents through hosted transitional housing at half the cost of hotels.
Why provide hosting?
The heart of Welcome Housing is hospitality. What does hospitality really mean? In the Bible it means loving the stranger and the foreigner, and is placed right up there with loving the widow and the orphan. This kind of hospitality can make an impact for a moment, a season, or forever in the lives of refugees resettling in Boise.
We see that these spaces truly have provided a more welcoming, comfortable, and affordable transition in the wait for permanent housing. While the financial benefit is truly apparent, we are convinced that the community connection may be the greatest benefit of Welcome Housing. As one of our guests said, “A city is only as good as the people”, and Welcome Housing has provided a truly positive and hope-giving reception from community members in Boise.
Since opening in December 2016, Welcome Housing has hosted 70 people from 7 different countries! Average length of stay is 3 weeks and each family has saved approximately $735, which would have been spent on hotels. This service has clearly been a great avenue to extend hospitality and make connections with new families and individuals resettling to Boise. At this point we believe that 4-6 Welcome Houses will be sufficient to keep new refugee families out of the hotels.
To expand and secure this service LEAP is now under contract to purchase 5 condos at the Bench Condominiums! We estimate that these 5 condos will serve 240 people annually, save them $60,500 per year, and be a great soft landing place. For more information please read the project proposal at the following link OverviewWelcomeHousingProposalJuly2017clean (1).
How can you get involved?
We are looking for:
- Property owners who will lease a space
- Volunteers with construction/handyman/property maintenance skills
- Volunteers to support hosting
- Donations to furnish the units
See our Opportunities To Get Involved page for more details.