Every family and every person deserves a home. That is the core belief at CATCH, an Idaho nonprofit fighting to end homelessness in Idaho’s Treasure Valley.
Members of CTA Boise provided design expertise to CATCH to develop a space for the organization’s new program, Our Path Home. The program represents the culmination of collaborative efforts between dozens of Ada County social services to simplify the fragmented network of homelessness relief resources.
Wyatt Schroeder, Executive Director of CATCH, explained that the need for this consolidation is born from the exhausting experience of navigating these disparate services, especially during a period of extreme stress. In the past, people experiencing homelessness would often couch surf, relying on kindness and favors from family and friends. They might then turn to local police or their church, neither of which has much capacity to provide support beyond funneling them to overnight emergency shelters. Beyond that, their best bet for a more sustainable solution was to reach out to these disparate social services and try to get on as many waiting lists as possible and, well, hope for the best.
Our Path Home asks what would happen if the paradigm was shifted. What if there was just one door for people experiencing homelessness to enter instead of thirteen? What if this door led to a welcoming, calming space rather than a bleak and sterile office? What if this door led to friendly people with up-to-date information about all of the support available in the area? The team at Our Path Home believes this will revolutionize the journey of people experiencing homelessness, and ultimately move the needle toward ending homelessness in the Treasure Valley once and for all.
CTA, along with a number of other local organizations, pitched in to help make this door a reality. Lindsay Erb, who has volunteered with CATCH in the past, led the project’s design team, which included Josh Shiverick, Tom Dietrich, Tyler Victorino, and Natalie Miller. The project was, frankly, a miracle of personal connections and goodwill: past partners were contacted and cousins were called to gather materials, labor, and expertise to pull together a top-notch space funded almost entirely by kindness and a shared commitment to improve the area and put an end to homelessness.