COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho-- In an effort to get people off the streets, a Coeur d’Alene non-profit opened 13 new apartments for low-income families.
Volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul are continuously looking for ways to help anyone in need get a leg up.
Residents said this week is more than a homecoming. For many of them, it is the first time they have had a place they could even call home.
“I lived in an old hotel and I was the only female...sharing a bathroom with ten men. It was not good. I was there for three year,” said Cynthia Palmer-Ham. “It's kind of tight and closed in just a single room. I didn't have my own bathroom I didn't have a kitchen I just had an electric skillet to cook with.”
The 13 new tenants all have some form of mental chronic illness. Health care directors said the need for affordable apartments for the disabled population is apparent.
“A lot of them have been living in cars, in tents, some in their men's shelter, some this is their first permanent residency they've ever had in their life and we've got a lot of happy people here. It literally gets 13 people off the streets,” Kelli Lunceford, the housing director, said.
The cost of rent is based on what each person can pay.
The need in Coeur d’Alene for affordable housing is high. There is currently a four year waiting list to get into the apartments.