Good Samaritan Home Gets Makeover 

Congressional Republicans in Washington were called all manner of bad names after narrowly passing a recent budget bill to cut more tens of billions of dollars from Medicaid and other social programs supporting the impoverished, needy and elderly. But one of the party's biggest contributors is expressing a different sentiment, by dumping some funds into one of Boise's oldest and most inclusive charitable homes.

The Washington Group (formerly Morrison Knudson), identified by the campaign contribution-tracking site www.opensecrets.org as the 20th largest Republican contributor nationwide so far in the 2006 election cycle, donated $10,000 on Monday to the Good Samaritan Home on State Street. The Samaritan home, which for over 60 years has been funded by donations and purchases at the Good Samaritan Thrift Store (one of Boise's lesser-known second-hand gems that we're afraid to let other people in on), serves more than 45 individuals with varying disabilities, financial hardship or other reasons they cannot live independently. However, life as a private nonprofit also has its challenges, according Dr. Steven Reidhaar, president of the home's board of directors.

"It's a clean, tidy and safe place, but it's also very old," Reidhaar said. That's why the 46-room structure was targeted for a facelift by a coalition of local businesses and organizations, including the Idaho Remodeling Association, Greg Fisher Construction, Keilty Construction, International Stone and others. The new version of the Good Samaritan Home, complete with fixed-up rooms and new landscaping, officially launched at an open house on Monday.

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