Vickie Holbrook

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Today concludes our eight-day series on the homeless. We have received positive feedback from our readers who said they didn’t really understand the plight of those without a place to call home.

Last week I mentioned that If you don’t see the homeless, you aren’t looking.

Our goal has been to uncover the faces of the people who many of us haven’t seen up close. Statistics and programs are important, but until you can see up close what it means to be without a home, the homeless men, women and children are invisible.

Along the way we’ve introduced you to the people who help the homeless. Rev. Bill Roscoe, Chris Ellison, Stephanie Bloom and even Nampa Police Sgt. Don Peck who reminded us all Saturday that “just because someone’s homeless, doesn’t mean they’re a bad person.”

In today’s paper, Nate Green tells part two of his two-day stay at the Lighthouse Rescue Mission in Nampa. He also shares some success stories of people who have climbed out of the hole of despair with the help of local agencies.

We unsuccessfully searched for the “unsheltered” people who reportedly live in the cars or find hideaways. I think there are two reasons for that. There aren’t that many who live in such dire conditions, based on annual Point-In-Time Counts, and there are some who don’t want to be seen.

A photographer talked to one man who lives in his van. He agreed to meet the next day for photos and an interview, but didn’t show up.

After combing through numbers, I believe there are places for the homeless to find refuge if they want to live by the rules and try to find a job so they can get back on track to move into a home.

I am in awe of all the donations of time, food and money that takes care of people in need.

Roscoe, who has worked with homeless in other states, says the Treasure Valley does an incredible job of helping.

We couldn’t have told such personal stories without the assistance of those who work with the homeless. Even more importantly we appreciate those men and women who allowed us to tell their stories of struggles and triumphs.

An eight-day project like Homeless, not Hopeless can’t be done by one person. It takes a team of writers and photographers to gather the information and document their findings. We publish the reporter and photographer names with their work.

But there are editors rarely recognized for pulling all the pieces together in a seamless fashion.

Sports Editor Tom Fox provided the creative design for this project and Local Editor Charlotte Wiemerslage headed up the writing team and even contributed a story for today’s paper.

Multimedia Editor Greg Kreller not only shot many of the photos, he also created a special web page at idahopress.com/homeless where you can read the entire collection of stories, hear audio interviews, watch videos and see additional photos.

Just because we wrap up our series today doesn’t mean we’ll quit reporting on the homeless. We will follow the progress of Rev. Bill Roscoe’s quest to build a new shelter in Nampa.

I would love to hear feedback from you, the reader, on this series or if you have information that we should follow up on. You can reach me at vholbrook@idahopress.com or call me at 465-8110.

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