The Face of Homeless in Boise is Not What You Think
Last night Rick and I had the honor of telling the story of this beautiful woman who went from homeless and hopeless to a fresh start with her three beautiful children thanks to a program here in Boise called CATCH.
Ashley Riddle didn't plan on being a single Mom. Who does? In December of 2016 that struggle of raising three small children on her own led Ashley to a homeless shelter. As she says, "all they had was their self-respect and each other." At one point Ashley and her children slept in her car for six months. Her girls went to school everyday, her son went off to day care. They certainly were not what you think of when you think of someone who is homeless. At least those are not the faces I used to see. I used to associate homelessness with a disheveled man holding a cardboard sign on the corner. The truth is homelessness could happen to anyone of us.
A sudden job loss, unexpected medical bills, divorce, death. For most of us our financial state is more fragile than we dare admit.
Ashley was eventually accepted into the CATCH program here in Boise. A program that believes the first step to ending homelessness is to provide people like Ashley a home; from there they work the rest of the issues that led to homelessness out.
CATCH works. In July of 2017 Ashley and her three children moved into their home. It gives Ashley and her children the stability and the consistency they so desperately needed. Today her kids are flourishing in school, daycare, and at home in large part because of that stable roof over their heads and of course because of their wonderful Mother, Ashley, who would do anything for her babies. As she told us, "When you are the Mom you've got to be the rock whether you want to be or not."
It takes approximately $4,000 to transition a family like Ashley's out of homelessness. Last night at JUNIPER on 8th Street local businesses and some fantastic people gathered together for dinner and to hear Ashley's story. Over $20,000 was raised for the CATCH program. Five Treasure Valley families will get a fresh start just like Ashley.
Rick and I are so grateful to be a part of this fantastic community and to Ashley and your beautiful children we could not be more happy and excited for you and your future.