Boise Rescue Mission gets a big rescue, looks ahead

Rev. Bill Roscoe, photographed in 2014 at the Valley Women and Children’s Shelter, one of several facilities run by the Boise Rescue Mission.
Rev. Bill Roscoe, photographed in 2014 at the Valley Women and Children’s Shelter, one of several facilities run by the Boise Rescue Mission.

A couple weeks ago, Rev. Bill Roscoe, head of the Boise Rescue Mission, made an appeal to the community to help the nonprofit shelter overcome a $350,000 shortfall.

The community stepped up with donations: As of Tuesday, the misson had overcome its shortfall “and then some,” said Roscoe.

“I keep saying I’m so amazed, but I shouldn’t be,” he said. “I’m just extremely thankful to the people of the Treasure Valley and for God for bringing us this support at a crucial time.”

Since Roscoe put out the urgent call for donations, regular donors as well as 100 new donors have given money, setting a new donation record for the first week of August, he said.

The shortfall was the result of a snag that kept the mission’s annual donation request letter from going out last fall, he said. The California contractor handling the mailing declared bankruptcy.

“When they filed, they locked the doors and walked away with everyone’s mail still inside,” said Roscoe.

The letter would have gone to regular donors, plus potential donors. So when it didn’t go out, the mission lost both projected and potential income, he said.

The mission has since started working with a new contractor to handle its mailing.

In addition to the unmailed letters, a large demand for services has also put pressure on the mission, he said. Close to 400 people seek services each day at the mission’s five locations in Boise and Nampa.

The mission has faced money shortages before, said Roscoe, but the recent shortage was the largest in his 14 years with the organization. The mission had another serious shortfall in 2012. That time, staffers made appeals to donors already on the mission mailing list.

“We called then, and thank God they responded. This time I had a different mind about it,” said Roscoe. “We have donors that have given and given and given again. I hated to go back to them.”

That’s why he put out the call to the whole community, asking not only for money, but also for prayers, he said.

Roscoe said that grants from local, private foundations provide a small share of the mission’s funding, but private donors make up more than 70 percent of the total.

The mission opened its doors 58 years ago. It provides shelter for men, women and families. In addition, 30 veterans are enrolled in the Veterans Ministry Program. More than 40 men and women are enrolled in the New Life Recovery Program, and 50 children are taking part in the mission’s Kid’s Program.

Thrift store event; how to donate

On Sept. 24, the Boise Rescue Mission will celebrate the first anniversary of its thrift store at 1215 12th Ave. S. in Nampa. The store is not yet turning a profit, mission Executive Director Bill Roscoe nsaid, but it has provided job training and work experience for men and women in the mission’s recovery programs. The anniversary celebration will include sales inside the store as well as food vendors, a bounce house and a car show in the parking lot.

To donate to the mission, go online to or call 208-343-2389.