The ROC homeless shelter combats valley homelessness

The ROC homeless shelter combats valley homelessness »Play Video
TheReachoutCenter plans to build sleeping areas to keep people overnight.
LEWISTON, ID - Over the past few weeks we've seen some overnight temperatures dip below freezing.

KLEW News learns why some homeless people in the valley have no where to go.

In the frigid month of December, there's a shelter on the north side of Lewiston that keeping people warm."

"During the day it's freezing cold out there you got a place to go," said The Roc patron, Shannon Squires.

"It's a little bit like home," said The Roc Co-Founder, Rick Burke.

Rick Burke co-founded The ReachoutCenter last November. Since then they've offered free meals, laundry and clothes to the less privileged in the Valley.

"The Valley needs to be aware that there are a significant number of homeless people that are here," said Burke. "You can't see them but they're there."

Josh Devarney is a veteran and said he's been homeless for most of his life.

"When you haven't got any references and you've got a felony on your record, no one wants to even bother with you," said Devarney.

Through the ROC, Devarney said he's finally establishing a living situation that he can rent on his own. Without the ROC he said he'd be...

"Still on the street," said Devarney. "Or somewhere else I'd rather not be."

Now this might not look like much right now but it's the future home of The ROC Homeless Shelter. Where Burke hopes they can keep people overnight. A need that's not yet met in the Valley.

"If we have space we'll put singles in but it's a rare happening," said YWCA Executive Director, Sylvia Evers.

At the YWCA priority goes to women and children. And they only have seven units to rent out. But at night when it's cold some people just don't have options.

"That's the catch 22," said Evers. "We don't have an answer for this need in the Valley."

When the ROC is able to find funding for their overnight shelter, it'll be the first of it's kind in the Valley. Until then, summer can't come soon enough for those on the streets."

On December 21st The ROC is hosting a Christmas meal for anyone in need. For ways to get involved, donate or to attend the free meal head to our Facebook page for more information.