Some may think homelessness is problem mostly in bigger cities. But one local non-profit is trying to raise awareness about the extent of the problem in Idaho Falls.
Club Inc also wants to let people know, they are there to help.
The Club Inc drop in center is a place where anyone who is homeless or just feeling lonely or depressed or down on their luck can come. They can play games, get direction on everything from food stamps to social security, and attend classes to improve their lives.
“They build self-esteem, ” case manager, Blair Bradley said. ” They’re encouraged to be themselves, to find out how they can have relationships within the community with bosses, with their peers, reconnecting with their family, providing resources. ”
While she’s not homeless, Sveta Price came to the drop in center two years ago when she was at a low point in her life, and found help.
“At first I couldn ‘ t keep eye contact with anybody, ” Price said. ” I was always looking down and Blair has helped me just being open and just be who I need to be today.”
The drop in center does a lot of good, but Club Inc is probably best known for providing homes to the homeless. To the left of the drop in center is a home for women, to the right a home for men. There are a few other homes throughout the city with 33 beds in all.
Robert Zazweta is one of the residents. For years his addictions led to him losing everything. He was in and out of prison numerous times. He’s been sober now for two years. He’s even a certified recovery coach. He credits Club Inc.
“It’s gave me a stable place of living, ” Zazwet said. ” It’s made me believe in myself, love myself and have faith — something I’ve never had. I’ve been a meth addict and alcoholic for many, many years.”
Club Inc is unique in that it’s not just temporary housing for the homeless .
“For individuals who were homeless and also have a disability, they’re able to come into our facility and stay frankly as long as they need to, ” executive director Bill Campbell said. ” For those individuals that come into our housing we’re also providing case management services, hooking people up with whatever services they need.”
Jerry Aquirre is one of those people who was in desperate need when he found Club Inc.
“I was staying in strangers vehicle, ” Aquirre said. ” I was eating out of dumpsters. I was homeless, I was cold.”
Aguirre says Club Inc and it made a huge difference.
“It’s had a tremendous impact on my recovery. It’s pointed me in some promising directions.”
Zazweta hates to think of where he’d be now if he hadn’t turned his life around here.
“I think I’d still be using and drinking and ruining my life some more,” Zazweta said.
Zazweta now has hope for the future.
“It’s hard to picture myself where I’ll be in the next year, but I know I’m gonna be in a good place.”
Club Inc relies on grants and donations to exist. If you ‘ d like to help go to avenuesforhope.org. There you can donate to Club Inc and a number of other worthy organizations.