Emergency Rent and Mercy Assistance (ERMA) Program

The Jesse Tree provides assistance for low to extremely low income persons who are at risk of becoming homeless by providing one-time rent assistance and case management. Clients of the ERMA program are given strategies to develop a positive relationship with their landlords. Additionally, they obtain referrals and opportunities to help them remain in their current home. If you are accepted into the program, Jesse Tree's experienced Licensed Social Workers will personally work with you and make appropriate referrals to other community resources.

Eligibility Requirements

To receive rental assistance, the applicant must:

  • Demonstrate the need is short term and emergency in nature.
  • Have a lease.
  • Have eviction notice/proof of arrears.
  • Have verifiable income.
  • Must have paid 3 months’ rent on time within rental history.
  • Live in Ada County or Canyon County
  • Participate in a minimum of one case management meeting with a Licensed Social Worker.
  • Have landlord participation.
  • Housing meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS) A home inspection is required.

Process for Receiving Assistance

  1. The applicant is screened according to established criteria.
  2. The applicant applies and verifies place of residence and income.
  3. The property owner (landlord) is contacted to verify information and participation
  4. The applicant participates in a minimum of one case management meeting with a Licensed Social Worker.
  5. A housing inspection (HQS) is completed to ensure families are living in a safe environment.
  6. If applicants qualify, rent payment is mailed directly to landlord.
  7. The timeline for assistance is one to two weeks.
  8. Three, six and twelve months after services have been rendered a follow-up call is made to the beneficiary to verify they are still housed and working toward financial stability.

How to Apply

To apply for the ERMA program, please call 208-383-9486 (Ada County) or 941-3188 (Canyon County)

Other Programs/Partnerships

Toys for Tots: The Jesse Tree partners with the Marine Corp to provide toys for needy families during Christmas.  Since 2015, Jesse Tree has provided toys to almost 500 needy children.

Christmas Sponsorship: The Jesse Tree, its staff and neighboring nonprofits provides gifts for needy families during the Christmas season.  This brings joy to those in need and continues the mission of Jesse Tree to provide mercy.

Deposits: Jesse Tree partners with the WCA to provide domestic violence victims deposit assistance if they are good fits to return to self-sufficiency and simply need help to get into affordable housing.  




pdf Idaho HMIS Privacy Notice
pdf Aviso de Privacidad del sistema de HMIS de Idaho
pdf Client Services Flowchart

Other Resources

The Salvation Army - Boise/Treasure Valley
Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority
Idaho Legal Aid Services
El-Ada Community Action Partnership
Treasure Valley Community Resource Center, Inc.
211 Idaho Care Line Self Rescue Manual

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