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New idahomeless.org group aims to be neutral

Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-11 20:30:29-05

Strong emotions have emerged from the clean up of "Cooper Court" and the subsequent confrontations between the homeless and the mayor of Boise.

Now, a new group is trying to mend fences through the Internet.  

The idea for the group came about when a local woman wanted to give back but noticed that volunteer efforts, at times, were overlapping. So, she and a co-founder created idahomeless.org.

"Our ultimate goal is to help as many people as we can," says Laura McRoberts.

The website co-founder can relate to the homeless citizens of Boise as she once struggled to afford a roof over her head.

After overcoming an illness recently, she hit the streets with the goal of giving back. She found the experience to be very rewarding.

McRoberts says one of the biggest concerns she continues to hear is that the homeless citizens feel like they're not being included in the discussion to brainstorm long-term solutions.

"Really, I think that is what helps them the most is just listening to what they need and considering what will make their lives better, not what other people are saying what will make their lives better and that's been a huge problem," McRoberts says.

With the goal of helping to bring everyone together and serving as a liaison, of sorts, for all parties involved, McRoberts and a co-founder started idahomeless.org two weeks ago.

McRoberts says the site has been well received with plenty of inquiries from people wanting to know how they can help out.

With their coordination, the Meridian woman hopes to be able to come up with an alternative place for the homeless to stay, other than shelters. Ultimately, she wants to play an integral role in one day ending homelessness in the Treasure Valley.

"We're just trying to make sure everyone is on the same page," McRoberts says. "And, we feel like that's something that really needs to happen."

The new group is currently working to be officially recognized as a non-profit.

You can connect with them online by visiting http://idahomeless.org.