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Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services celebrates 20 years

By By Chris Cole
Published On: Oct 29 2013 11:01:16 PM CDT

Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services is celebrating 20 years of helping people in Pocatello find their inner-homeowner -- and helped them get the home to go with it.

POCATELLO, Idaho -

Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services is celebrating 20 years of being in Pocatello, and they say there are a lot of achievements as seen in numbers.

For example, 132: the number of homes PNHS has built. Or 344: the number of homes rehabilitated by PNHS. Or 608: the number of home purchases PNHS has facilitated for people. PNHS has also helped families get more than $8.5 million in loans.

Many people don't think they would be where they are today if it weren't for PNHS. One of those people is Tracy Martin.

"To me, it's one of those accomplishments I made that I never thought was possible," Martin said. "But the education and the encouragement from the community here has been pretty awesome."

But she's been defying the odds since she was 16 years old. She was driving her small pickup during winter when she hit a patch of black ice. She said the wind caught her and blew her truck into oncoming traffic, where she was struck by a semi.

"Doctors said if I woke up from the coma I was in, they thought I would pretty much be a vegetable," Martin said.

But with a permanent traumatic brain injury and life in a wheelchair, she went on to get her graduate degree at Idaho State University. She lived in the Americans with Disabilities Act accessible housing while attending school, but once she graduated, she said she always felt community living would be her life.

Finally a friend encouraged her to apply for housing with PNHS, and in April 2009 she moved into a home specially built for her.

"They really sit down and go over things with you on a one-on-one basis," Martin said. "I think that's an awesome attribute to PNHS."

In that same year she also became a pet owner, bringing in a service dog named Peaches to be part of her family. Five years later she's still with PNHS, but as a member of their board.

"PNHS really is a collaboration of residents, businesses and government entities," said executive director Mark Dahlquist.

Dahlquist said Tuesday's event got all of those different people together at the Westside Player's warehouse for live music, a silent auction and food catered by Café Tuscano. But Dahlquist said that's not all they're doing to celebrate 20 years in Pocatello.

Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services is also planning a 1,500-square-foot pavilion in Caldwell Park next summer. Dahlquist said putting a shelter in the park for families just makes sense, because sheltering families is what they do.

"I think this community is very lucky to have a community development organization like PNHS, and we're just so thrilled to be celebrating 20 years," Dahlquist said.

The pavilion will cost about $90,000 and PNHS has about $75,000. Dahlquist said they're hoping Tuesday's event and silent auction will help them get closer to the $15,000 difference and a spring 2014 groundbreaking.

Another change in 2014 will be their name. They will become NeighborWorks Pocatello,as they are chartered by NeighborWorks America. 

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