Guest Opinions

Rescue Mission shelters are ground zero for Treasure Valley’s opioid crisis


By now most of you are aware of the opioid crisis in the U.S. Unfortunately, it exists here in Idaho as well.

The four Boise Rescue Mission shelters in our community are ground zero for the crisis in the Treasure Valley. Most people know about the Boise Rescue Mission because of our homeless shelters. We also provide residential drug and alcohol recovery programs that can last 12 months or longer.

The entire second floor of River of Life Men’s Mission is dedicated to housing guests in the New Life Recovery Program. All of the services provided in the recovery programs (including housing, food and the costs of the counseling) are free to participants. The Boise Rescue Mission does not receive any federal or state taxpayer support. Participants are not required to read the Bible or pray. However, most successful graduates credit their faith for overcoming the addiction and staying clean.

All of the Boise Rescue Mission programs, including drug and alcohol recovery, are free because of generous donors in our community, including many small donors who often contribute $10 a month. Their contributions are heartfelt, and filled with love and gratitude that they can help others who are struggling. They want to help people who can never give them anything in return.

Who are these addicts? They are high school and college athletes who have suffered an injury. They are mothers who suffer from injuries, migraines, lack of sleep, or abuse as a child. They are construction workers who were injured on the job. They are teenagers who struggle socially and found opioids in the medicine cabinet, and took them only a few times to make them feel better. They are farm workers who had an accident. They are grandfathers who had a bad toothache or arthritis and hoped to take opioids for a short time for an easy cure.

In 2016, more than 600 men, women and children transitioned out of a Boise Rescue Mission facility to return to (or start to) live their lives independently. Our children’s programs include tutoring, homework club, spring and summer break programs, support for extracurricular activities, college visits, and education on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

If you know anyone addicted to opioids, alcohol, meth or other drugs, please encourage them to call any of our facilities:

▪  River of Life Men’s Mission in Boise (208) 389-9840.

▪  City Light Home for Women and Children in Boise (208) 343-4680.

▪  LightHouse Men’s Mission in Nampa (208) 461-5030.

▪  Valley Women and Children’s Shelter in Nampa (208) 475-0727.

The generous donors (both large and small) to the Boise Rescue Mission are working hard to restore faith, hope and family in our community.

Sandra R. Dalton is chairman of the board, Boise Rescue Mission Ministries.