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Organizations partner up to provide more warm places for those sheltering from the cold

Tents of homeless people line a street.
Yasin Ozturk
/
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

As winter temperatures settle in, organizations around Treasure Valley are partnering up to provide people experiencing homelessness warm places to shelter from the cold.

For the first time, clients of Our Path Home, a homeless service agency in Ada County, can get a full access membership to the YMCA this winter. Shelters, like The City Lights, River of Life and The Harm Reduction Project, are also coordinating and adjusting their capacity to provide longer access to warm spaces for those in need.

Our Path Home Coordinator Saidee Jones said cross-sector collaboration is important because funding is limited and leveraging available resources allows organizations to do more.

“We can expand or add different capacities by having conversations and shaking trees,” she said.

Homelessness rates in Ada County increased 6% from 2020 to 2023. This means about 2,500 people today are in need of services.

These efforts to expand services during cold months are meant to respond to people’s immediate needs, but won’t address the cause of homelessness, Jones said.

“That need will continue to increase until we have adequate, accessible and affordable housing that meets the needs of folks,” she said.

Our Path Home is also putting together a pocket guide compiling where to find winter resources, like these new warming spots, as well as cold weather safety tips. The guide will be available at the end of the week.

For a full list of winter resources, click here.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.

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