About Us

The Jesse Tree of Idaho was founded in 1999.  Our founders, Monsignor John Donoghue and JoAnne Vahey, sought to fill a gap in the community by preventing homelessness.  Since our founding, the Jesse Tree has grown into nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing homelessness. Partnering with the City of Boise and Boise State University School of Social Work the Emergency Rent and Mercy Assistance (ERMA) program was created.

Over the years the Jesse Tree has provided rental assistance, emergency case management and referrals to over 8,000 individuals and 3,000 households.  For many households, the assistance they receive allows them to get back on track financially.

The services the organization provides are critical for the community.  It can cost $5,000 to rehouse a family and for much less they can be prevented from ever falling into homelessness.  The Jesse Tree also preserves affordable housing by ensuring households maintain their current housing and do not experience eviction.

By administering the ERMA program, the Jesse Tree ensures households suffering a temporary setback do not suffer permanently for it.  As rental prices rise, and incomes stay flat the Jesse Tree fills a critical gap for many households if they lose hours at work, have a family emergency or unexpected illness.

The Jesse Tree also partners with community members and organizations to ensure a robust social safety net is maintained.  Jesse Tree has created valued partnerships with the Cities of Boise, Nampa and Meridian and serves as a participating member in the Boise City/Ada County Continuum of Care, where service providers meet to address gaps and needs in services.

The Jesse Tree is aided in its endeavors by the loyal efforts of its staff.


Gabriel Iacoboni, MPA: Executive Director

Rachel Lara, LSW: Office Manager/Senior Social Worker

Jeremy Osborn: Social Work Intern

AmeriCorp Vista Member-Claire Quade


Our Board of Directors:

Allen Renshaw, MA, SLP-Board Chairman
Don Lojek, Esq.-Vice Chairman
Cecelia Merz, CPA-Treasurer of the Board
Rodger Schaver, MD.-Secretary
Ryan Orlando
Jane Wittmeyer
Bob Fritsch
Andy Hawes, Esq.-Director
Wayne Johnston
Tom Jorgenesen

Share This Page: