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Boise Hotline, Inc.


Records, 1971-1993


MSS 171


The Boise Hotline was a telephone listening and referral service that operated in Boise, Idaho, from 1970 to 1990. Originally intended for young people, its clientele soon widened as it received calls from all age groups. In a fundraising brochure the Hotline was described as a "non-specialized crisis line" and " an anonymous, non-judgmental and non-directive telephone listening service." Call statistics compiled during 1974 and 1975 reveal that loneliness, depression, family and marital problems, and sexual and dating concerns prompted most of the calls. Other topics included birth control, pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, and occasional suicide threats. Volunteer Hotline operators were trained to listen to caller concerns, talk through their problems with them, and to refer callers to social and medical service providers if appropriate.

The founding of the Boise Hotline was told in two issues of the Boise City Herald-Tribune (Folders 1 and 2). Its beginnings exemplify the grassroots social activism of the 1960s and early 1970s. The Hotline was started on a shoestring, with an all-volunteer staff spearheaded by Boise High School students. The Community Action Project funded the first phone line. Local businesses and service organizations provided facilities and funding for a part-time organizer. By 1977 the Hotline operated on a budget of approximately $10,000 per year, most of which was contributed by the United Way. When the United Way declined to renew the Hotline’s funding for 1990, it ceased operations.

The records of the Boise Hotline contained in this collection are scattered and fragmentary, but they reveal the philosophy, workings, and many of the problems of the organization. Volunteer training, operator scheduling, chronic callers, fundraising, and security for volunteer workers were concerns.

Also included with the collection are early minutes of a successor organization, the Suicide Prevention Hotline, which began operating in Boise in 1992, and of the Idaho Hotline Association, later renamed the Idaho Helpline Association. Incorporated in 1973, the IHA was a federation of hotlines operating in Idaho. The IHA operated no phonelines itself, but coordinated training and other common activities. Glimpses of hotline activities in cities other than Boise are revealed in the IHA records.

These records came to Boise State University in two groups. The records in Group One, dating from the 1970s, were the gift of the estate of Thomas (Tam)Young, onetime executive director of the Boise Hotline, in 1998. They were transferred from his estate through Julie Kreiensieck, whose late daughter, Talka Kreiensieck, was a volunteer and member of the board of the Boise Hotline. A few papers of Talka Kreiensieck have been added to Group One. The records in Group Two, dating from the 1980s and 1990s, were donated in 1999 by Dr. Peter Wollheim of the Boise State University Communication Department.


Inclusive dates: 1971-1993

Collection size: 1/2 ft. (in 2 boxes)

Processed by: Alan Virta, 1998 and 2000


Inventory of the Collection


Group One:  Records from 1971to 1980  (Folders 1 to 33)


Boise Hotline, Inc.

    Folder 1           History (Part 1), from the Boise City Herald (1971)
    Folder 2           History (Part 2), from the Boise City Herald (1971) 
    Folder 3           Brochure 
    Folder 4           The Chronical (newsletter) (October 1973) 
    Folder 5           The Chronical (newsletter) (December 1973) 
    Folder 6           Minutes (1975-1976) 
    Folder 7           Minutes (1978) 
    Folder 8           Call statistics (1974-1976) 
    Folder 9           Financial reports (1975-1980) 
    Folder 10         Rosters 
    Folder 11         Rosters: Crash pads 
    Folder 12         Rosters: Miscellaneous 


Idaho Hotline Association


    Folder 13         General material 
    Folder 14         Articles of incorporation (1973) 
    Folder 15         Bylaws (1973) 
    Folder 16         Financial statements (1974) 
    Folder 17         Fundraising papers (1974) 
    Folder 18         Flyers and brochures
    Folder 19         Minutes and monthly reports (1974-1975) 
    Folder 20         Memoranda (1974-1975) 
    Folder 21         Name change (1974) 
    Folder 22         Newsletter (“Mainstream”) (1974) 
    Folder 23         Personnel (1974) 
    Folder 24         Service description: Proposal (1974) 
    Folder 25         Endorsements (1974) 
    Folder 26         Service contract (1974) 
    Folder 27         Commentary on state drug plan (1974) 
    Folder 28         Technical assistance descriptions 
    Folder 29         Training programs (1974-1975) 
    Folder 30         Volunteer training proposal (J. Martin Seidenfeld) (1974) 
    Folder 31         Miscellaneous


 Papers of Talka Kreiensieck


    Folder 32         Notes for presentation at IHA board meeting, June 1974; with notes on other  presentations
    Folder 33         Letter about Thomas “Tam” Young



Group Two:  Records from 1989-1993  (Folders 34 to 59)


 Boise Hotline, Inc.


    Folder 34         Bylaws (1983-1989)
    Folder 35         Meeting file (1987) 
    Folder 36         Meeting file (1988 Jun 8) 
    Folder 37         Meeting file (1988 Sep 8) 
    Folder 38         Meeting file (1988 Dec 8) 
    Folder 39         Meeting file (1989 Mar 8) 
    Folder 40         Meeting file (1989 Jun 8) 
    Folder 41         Meeting file (1989 Sep 12) 
    Folder 42         Meeting file (1989 Dec 7) 
    Folder 43         Meeting file (1990 Mar 21) 
    Folder 44         Brochures, forms (1980s)
    Folder 45         Call statistics (1986-87) 
    Folder 46         Financial report, 1987 (1988) 
    Folder 47         Miscellaneous (1987-89) 
    Folder 48         Training material 
    Folder 49         Treasurer's reports (1988-89)
    Folder 50         Mountain Bell / US West Foundation (1988-89) 
    Folder 51         Nicholson, Jim (President) (1986-88)
    Folder 52         St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center (1988) 
    Folder 53         United Way funding, 1987 
    Folder 54         United Way funding, 1988 
    Folder 55         United Way funding, 1989 
    Folder 56         United Way funding, 1990


  Other Organizations


    Folder 57         Canyon County Suicide Prevention Hotline (1992) 
    Folder 58         Gay and Lesbian Talkline proposal (1992?) 
    Folder 59         Suicide Prevention Hotline (1992-1993)


    Box 2               Loose-leaf notebook with Boise Hotline bumper stickers attached (1970s) 

    Box 2               Extra Boise Hotline brochures (1980s) 


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