Sojourners’ Alliance residents likely to return in December

Organization plans to reopen Nov. 1; individuals, families will likely move back into housing facilities Dec. 1

Sojourners’ Alliance plans to close its doors Sept. 1 and reopen them Nov. 1, but people may not be able to move back into the housing facilities until Dec. 1, the organization’s executive director, Steve Bonnar, said.

Sojourners’ provides low income residents transitional housing, basic services, education in life and interpersonal skills, counseling and opportunities for integration into the community. It learned this past spring it would be losing $100,000 in transitional housing funds from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development it had traditionally received and has since been trying to secure alternative funding sources.

Bonnar said he will need to hire two case managers – one full-time and one part-time – and he will need to replace the beds, dressers and other items that he will allow residents to take with them to help in their transition when they move out before the end of August. He said it will take about a month for Sojourners’ to replace beds, dressers, pots and pans and other items.

“As far as actually accepting people back in the program, it wouldn’t be until Dec. 1 because I have to hire staff,” Bonnar said. “I don’t have any case managers currently and so I’d have to bring on staff.”

To remain operational, Bonnar said the organization needs to secure $125,000 in financial commitments, which he said is about equal to providing 20 beds. As of Monday, Bonnar said he has financial commitments to cover three beds.

As a point of clarification: that’s $6,250 per bed.

The Moscow City Council approved a $12,500 funding allotment to Sojourners’ on July 18 under the condition that the organization receives $125,000 in financial commitments. He said he also received a commitment from Adult Mental Health, a division of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Bonnar said he has requested $12,500 from Latah County, an increase of the $10,000 the county normally provides. Bonnar said he is confident the county will help.