The Boise Rescue Mission is experiencing a financial crisis. The Christian organization’s leaders say it’s not because of lack of generosity from the community.
The Rescue Mission has two homeless shelters in Boise and two in Nampa. Holiday contributions are important for keeping those shelters open. And direct mailing is the key to bringing that money in. So when a piece of holiday mail just didn’t get sent last year, CEO Bill Roscoe says the mission was hit hard.
Roscoe says a mailing contractor in another state went bankrupt and closed without telling its clients.
“They simply locked the doors of their shop and left,” Roscoe says. “And our mail, along with hundreds of other nonprofit agencies', was sitting in there on the table. That caused us to have a large deficit where we expect really good income October, November, December.”
Roscoe says that deficit has dogged the mission all year and amounts to a $350,000 shortfall. He says if the mission can’t close its budget gap soon, it will have to go into debt to continue to provide services for homeless men, women and children.
“There’s no way that we’re not going to serve these people,” Roscoe says. “We’ve made a commitment to them and to our community and we’re going to keep that. We hope that we won’t have to borrow any money but we’ll weather the storm one way or the other.”
Roscoe calls the Treasure Valley the most generous place in the world. He says he has faith the community will help now just as they would have last year if the mailer had gone out.
The Boise Rescue Mission has sometimes drawn criticism from homeless people and homeless advocates for its strict rules for guests and its emphasis on religious proselytizing. But it’s the largest provider of emergency shelter in the Treasure Valley. Its other areas of emphasis include transitioning homeless veterans into full-time housing and employment, helping women and children get out of violent home lives as well as faith-based addiction recovery.
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