Avenues for Hope

Now through December 31:

Support The Jesse Tree of Idaho

About Us

Monsignor John Donoghue founded The Jesse Tree of Idaho in 1999. Working together with Executive Director JoAnn Vahey, he gathered eight individuals to join in discerning how to begin the substantial work of spreading mercy to those in need. Monsignor Donoghue encouraged the founding members with these words:

"This prospect excites me. I believe it is the call from God to develop a wonderful mission of mercy as a fitting way to celebrate the great jubilee of Christ in 2000 and continue a fountain of mercy into the new millennium. Let us pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this matter."

Since 1999, The Jesse Tree has evolved into an established non-profit agency dedicated to preventing homelessness. In the fall of 2000, the City of Boise invited Jesse Tree to administer the Emergency Rent and Mercy Assistance (ERMA) program. Monsignor, JoAnn and the founding members worked closely with the City of Boise and Boise State University School of Social Work to develop guidelines and policies for the ERMA program. In July of 2001, The Jesse Tree of Idaho opened its doors to provide rent assistance to those who qualified. In October 2016, Jesse Tree opened its doors in Canyon County. 

Monsignor's instruction to those associated with The Jesse Tree was to be merciful to those in need. He encouraged staff and volunteers to listen to the clients as they expressed their needs. We are proud to continue Monsignor's legacy of spreading mercy to those in need.


Since it's founding Jesse Tree has provided service to over 7,300 individuals.  These individuals (including their families) have benefitted from being able to stay in their homes and overcome a temporary, financial setback.  We are proud to continue to serve those in need in our community and thankful for the many partners we have in our efforts to prevent homelessness!

Our Board of Directors:

Linda Armstrong
Allen Renshaw
Bob Fritsch
Jane Wittmeyer
Don Lojek
Stephanie Walters
Jeremiah Osborn

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