The Advocates nonprofit organization helps victims of abuse and sexual assault. A new 18-unit housing project to shelter clients during times of need is nearing completion on River Street in Hailey.
The organization is within $1.4 million of raising the $5.5 million needed to complete two buildings that will provide housing for abuse survivors, their children and pets.
Advocates CEO Tricia Swartling said many families assisted by the organization are waiting nine to 12 months for housing in the valley, while sometimes remaining in dangerous situations, or living in automobiles.
“When they need affordable, private, autonomous housing, it is just not readily available,” Swartling said.
Sometimes people are forced to leave the community in order to find housing, she said.
The project includes a 13,000-square-foot building that includes 12 transitional-housing apartments and a new client services center on River Street in Hailey, scheduled to open in October. Construction on a stand-alone, six-unit apartment building will commence in the fall of 2019 once fundraising goals are met, the organization stated.
The Advocates provides 5,700 nights of shelter and transitional housing for more than 100 women and children annually, yet 29 people are currently on a waitlist for the new housing, the organization stated.
“At 100 percent occupancy, the new apartments will provide at a minimum over 13,000 additional nights of housing a year for at least 36 more people,” a news release states.
The new apartments will also allow The Advocates to provide short-term shelter and transitional housing for men. The Advocates operates the only shelter and subsidized housing program for survivors of abuse in rural central Idaho, serving Blaine, Camas, Custer and Lincoln counties.
The Advocates was founded in 1991 to support a teen victim of sexual abuse. Today, the organization employs 42 people, including 12 high school students as youth activists.