We are all aware of the housing crisis we face, and veterans face those same issues. They sacrificed for us and our country, put their lives on the line and expected nothing in return. We need to show them our gratitude for their service.
Most Wood River Valley veterans live below the poverty line and are at risk of becoming homeless or are in need of home improvements. To help them, we ask everyone that is able to please donate to our nonprofit program, 5B Realtors for Veterans, this May 2, through Idaho Gives.
5B Realtors for Veterans is the only veteran housing assistance program in Blaine County. It was created in 2016 by us—a group of local veterans and Realtors who understand the challenges of housing in the valley. Currently, Lane Monroe, a U.S. Army officer from 1967 to 1973, and Reid Sanborn, a U.S. Air Force officer from 2003 to 2014, serve as the program’s committee members. They select applicants to help them find a home or apartment to rent, help them qualify for a loan or provide short-term financial rental assistance until they are on their feet. Of the seven veterans to whom 5B Realtors for Veterans has provided $25,760 in financial aid, five graduated from the program and are now working full-time and able to take on the responsibility of their own financial affairs. One passed away in 2016 and we are working with one veteran today.
One of the program’s recent success stories involves a veteran and his family. Their names are withheld for privacy. This veteran, married for eight years with three children (ages 1, 3 and a newborn), moved to Meridian, Idaho, to work as a police officer after his discharge from the military. After a lengthy search, and unable to find employment, he reached out to the Sun Valley Police Department and was offered a position serving our community. When he first started with the department, he lived in a camper near work while his family stayed behind in Meridian.
Eventually, they found a local rental and the family moved up to be together. As a full-time mother of three small children, his wife was unable to work, and like so many families in our valley, they were struggling financially. Through the Realtor network, he was introduced to 5B Realtors for Veterans and applied for help. We were able to step in and provide financial aid that allowed them to live here and start his civilian career. He was eventually offered a position with another department and we are happy to report that he and his family are finding success in his new position. Without the aid provided from 5B Realtors for Veterans, he may never have had the opportunity to move forward with his new life outside the military.
We are always looking for help. You can donate to our cause on May 2 by going to svrealtors.org. If you want to do more, we would love to have your participation in repairing a veteran’s home or by referring a veteran to our program. With our community’s help, veterans can focus on starting a new career in the valley where access to the outdoors and a strong community make it a great place to call home.
We sincerely thank those who have served our country. Now let’s help these veterans and bring more good people to our vibrant community. We look forward to your help on May 2.