Good Samaritan Home celebrates 75th anniversary

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-29 20:23:56-05

The lack of affordable housing for low-income adults in Boise has been an ongoing problem for decades. That's according to the executive director of the Good Samaritan Home.

Out of the 75 years the home has been in existence, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran James P. Copell has been a resident for seven of those years.

"It's just a perfect place for me," he said.

Single-level floors, close access to the bus stop and Veterans Affairs Hospital are all perks the 70-year-old has grown accustomed to. The old-fashioned, boarding house has been a viable option for many, like Copell, who were once chronically homeless. It's a place housing and meals are offered at a reduced rate based on the individual's income.

The average stay for residents at the Good Samaritan Home is three and a half years.

"We probably have assisted between 3,500-4,000 people in the 75 years," said Peg Richards, executive director of the Good Samaritan Home. "And, I think they [the founders] would be amazed to see this... when they started with those nine men and women."

Over the years, the original house off of State Street has expanded with the addition of several wings and remodeling projects.

The latest project to spruce things up began in 2014 and is nearing completion. Upgrades include: New appliances, a fresh coat of paint on the walls and new flooring. Richards says it was in need since the home hadn't been updated since the 1970's. It's something Copell appreciates, among so many other things.

"When you get older, you ought to be in a comfortable place," Copell concluded. "And, that's what I've found. I'll be here forever [laughs]."

The estimated $250,000 renovation was made possible almost entirely through grants and volunteer hours. A ribbon cutting will mark the completion in July.