Walk a Mile in My Shoes events to help Treasure Valley

Posted at 10:37 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 00:37:06-05

Almost half of Idaho's homeless population is in Ada County.  But one local organization says together we can fight the issue by building a community support group. Back in 2014  Elizabeth Martin found herself living on the streets and she will never forget how people treated her.

"It's very scary at first," said Martin. "I just went there to get warm and I ended up falling asleep and then the manager came up to me and was really hostile and told me to leave… I was like it's cold outside and he said he didn't care."

She said every day was a different challenge from food to eat to places to hang out to where people didn't run her off.  She said it just wasn't who she was.

"I  think people label you. i think they put all the homeless people into a box you are either an alcoholic or a drug addict and I wasn't any of those things," said Martin.

Martin's bad luck started with her losing her job, and then her car which she calls the domino effect but martin isn't alone. 65 percent of Idaho's homeless population lives in the Treasure Valley.

Peg Richards Executive Director of Good Samaritan Home said something needs to be done.
"What we have in are area is solvable," said Richard.

Richards said by putting into play solid support systems  our community as a whole can fight the issue. Richards is chipping away at the problem one person at a time. She is part of the reason why Martin is back on her feet.

"Martin pays about a little over $450 a month at the Good Samaritan. Martin who once dreamed of being a flight attendant and now dreams of something so much simpler.

"I have been working at this place for over a year,  I just got my driver's license. I do want to get a car but i have to get my bills paid off first," said Martin.

Despite it all Martin still has a smile on her face and now looks forward to her future.

She and many others will be at the 5th annual Walk a Mile in My Shoe event taking place Wednesday. The event starts at 5 p.m. at the St. Luke's Education Center located at 700 S. American Boulevard at the Grove. The event is being hosted by The Boise Ada County Homeless Coalition.  Registration for this event is $10.