BOISE, Idaho — The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation has awarded $250,000 to the local nonprofit group Jesse Tree, which provides low-income Treasure Valley residents who are unable to pay rent with education, support, and one-time financial assistance to prevent eviction and keep them in their homes.
The $250,000 will allow Jesse Tree to assist an additional 300 families in the coming year with rental assistance.
Jesse Tree is the Treasure Valley’s only eviction and homeless prevention-focused nonprofit organization, providing wrap-around support to low-income neighbors who are living paycheck-to-paycheck, have experienced an unanticipated financial crisis, and are unable to pay rent.
In 2019 alone, Jesse Tree prevented some 535 individuals from being evicted.
The organization says it has consistently received 150 calls per month from families around the Treasure Valley who are unable to pay their rent due to a temporary financial crisis related to job loss, health care, or some other
unanticipated financial expense or shortfall.
This month, Jesse Tree’s call volume is on course to triple, according to a news release from the agency.
The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in higher-than-usual job layoffs and losses. This, combined with a tight rental market, created the desire for the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation to respond and support Jesse
Tree in their mission to stabilize low-income families at risk of eviction, the release stated.
Jesse Tree is unable to provide all callers with financial aid, but provides everyone with some level of information and support. The organization provides households who are at higher risk and at immediate risk of eviction with
more intensive supportive services from case managers, who work closely with landlords throughout the process.
Case managers work to support and empower tenants to be financially stable in the future, providing them with connections to benefits, employment, other needed services and resources, and one-on-one budgeting help. Case
managers support tenants to create a housing stability plan through which they set future goals and action items they can work on. Of over 1,000 clients assisted over the past few years, over 97 percent of them are still in housing.
Jesse Tree managers say the group will spend the funding over a 12-month period, due to the organization’s need to provide consistent interventions in the coming year and couple financial aid with supportive services. Jesse Tree will continue to use the funding to assist tenants in the community who are most vulnerable.
Jesse Tree encourages tenants to communicate with their landlords, ask if they can make partial payment, and stay as current as possible to ensure they can stay in their homes when the current hold on eviction hearings lifts.