Online resource helping Boise's homeless population find support

Posted at 11:07 AM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 13:07:23-04

BOISE, Idaho — When it comes to energy and enthusiasm, Donald Ruffing is unmatched. He built a company in Los Angeles, got bought out by Teledyne and then stepped back to re-evaluate his life.

"It's just making money and I don't want to do this anymore, I want to do something that's rewarding where I'm really impacting somebody," said Ruffing.

So four years ago, he retired, moved to Idaho and started helping the homeless by volunteering for joust about anything at the Corpus Christi House. Back then, the homeless were given a vital pamphlet of helpful agencies.

The problem is, resources for the homeless can change all the time, making a paper pamphlet quickly out of date.

"Can you image a homeless person calling someone and they say oh no, we don't do that anymore."

Don decided it was time to modernize because even the homeless today are plugged in. He said the homeless don't have a lot of things, but they do have a phone.

Don created and uses volunteers to constantly update services available to the homeless. Changes to the site can be done in 30 seconds and categories and organizations can be added in just a matter of seconds.

The data collected from BoiseLIST can be invaluable to those looking to help. Don says the data is tracked so they can find out what resources the homeless are looking for.

It's the kind of idea that could make someone a million bucks, if Don Ruffing cared for that sort of thing.