- Xavier Ward
- A group of officials involved in the Valor Pointe project including Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo officially break ground on Valor Pointe.
Crystal Duncan spent more than 10 years off and on homeless after being medically discharged from the United States Air Force. For her, putting on her military uniform was akin to breathing. When she officially became a civilian, she felt lost.
Her time in the Air Force was spent as an explosives specialist, but her work involved more than knowing how to blow things up. She said she had transferrable skills, and she was always employed after serving. Still, Duncan found herself without a place to call home on more than one occasion.
“That was largely because of increasing rents,” she said.
Duncan was one of the speakers at Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony for Valor Pointe, a veteran housing development going up on West State Street. She, along with Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and a number of others involved in the project, tout this development as Boise’s commitment to being a leader in ending veteran homelessness.
Valor Pointe will be a 27-unit housing development that will cater to veterans in need. It will include mental health, substance abuse and general health services, along with subsidized rents.
Duncan said she would often be “gently evicted,” where her landlord simply wouldn’t renew her lease because she was using a Section 8 voucher.
Caring for her two dogs, one of which she carried the entire time while addressing the crowd at the groundbreaking ceremony, made making rent tough at times. Now she dedicates her time to helping homeless veterans in need. She lives in Mountain Home and speaks to groups around the state. She’s even hoping to run a program to get people into fly fishing as a means of establishing a positive hobby for women veterans struggling to reenter into civilian life.
“Valor Pointe is a great step in helping those in need,” Bieter told the crowd Monday. “It takes all of us banding together."
Bieter thanked all of those involved, including the Ada County Boise City Housing Authority, the Veterans Administration and Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo, who worked on this project when she worked for the city.
“We know in this model, housing people isn’t enough,” Bieter said. “You need to bring the services.”