The IRC in Boise is grateful to exist in a supportive community and that support is reaffirmed through the generosity received. Working with the Avenues for Hope Campaign annually is a highlight to end the year, and this year the IRC in Boise raised $8,200! These funds will contribute directly to the needs families have when transitioning into permanent housing. In case you missed it, this year the IRC in Boise highlighted the Martinez family as an example of what these funds will go to. 

The Martinez family of 5 arrived in Boise, Idaho July 2023 from Columbia. The family, originally from Venezuela, shares their experience coming to Boise and describes it as ‘surprising’ with the amount of support they’ve received from the IRC in Boise.

“We were expecting to get a ride from the airport and the first month's rent and that’s it. We were prepared to start working right away, but we weren’t expecting all of this.”

Jean Carlos and Reina were business owners in Venezuela over 6 years ago, before having to move to Columbia. Making plantains and selling them at local markets, Jean Carlos talks about how this was a family affair. Reina kept track of the books, Jean Carlos loudly announced what they were selling to customers passing by, and their eldest son Denyer would walk around with the product and would sell whatever he didn’t end up eating.

Now that they’re settled in Idaho, the family has dreams of reopening this business and sharing Venezuelan food with the Boise community. For the first time in years, the family can dream big. They dream about boats, cars, and owning businesses, but no longer dream of safety.

 “We no longer have to worry about surviving. We can just enjoy life.” Jean Carlos shares, as he sits in his new apartment with his family which he refers to as his paradise.

Your support towards housing doesn't have to end with supporting Avenues for Hope. The IRC in Boise is excited to collaborate with community members throughout the year and receive assistance that will directly benefit the livelihood of newly arrived refugees. If you're interested in giving, please reach out to [email protected], or donate directly to the IRC in Boise at


Thank you, everyone, and a happy new year from the IRC in Boise!