In July of this year, BCCF was awarded $100,000 by Idaho Housing & Finance (IHFA) for their work in supporting Blaine County households meeting a qualifying definition of homelessness, with supportive services such as financial assistance and life skills training. This grant will help cover the staffing and operational overhead costs to provide BCCF's financial assistance services so that more of BCCF's privately raised funds can be delivered directly in the hands of Blaine County residents.
Additionally, BCCF accepted $50,000 in childcare assistance funds for qualifying households who are receiving services through a licensed daycare provider in Blaine County. These funds were part of IHFA's receipt of $19.46 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.
"With approximately 32% of BCCF's current clientele meeting the qualifying definition of homelessness, this opportunity to have our work supported by this program is a valuable partnership," shared Mary Fauth, BCCF Executive Director.
"While our exposure to families that were literally homeless last winter was the more obvious example of the Wood River Valley's newer homeless population, the less obvious are the households that have always filled our hotel rooms, families that double up in times of need, those that pay more than 50% of their income to rent, and individuals that are actively losing, or are at high risk of losing, their housing. On average, all BCCF recipients pay 60% of their income toward rent."
Upon being awarded the initial $100,000 to provide the supportive services BCCF gives through financial assistance, IHFA asked BCCF to consider accepting additional funds for providing childcare financial assistance. Accepting and being able to deliver those funds comes with challenges.
"We are happy to join the Wood River Early Learning Collaborative to help households that might qualify and benefit from this childcare assistance, however the shortage of spots at licensed daycare providers proves to make it difficult to give access to these funds to qualified households," Fauth explains.
Residents that live and/or work in Blaine County can inquire about BCCF's financial assistance program and supportive services by visiting www.blainecf.org, calling 208-244-5205 or stopping by the Hailey based offices at 111 N. 1st Ave., Suite 2J, Hailey.