Home Population Idaho Organizations Working to Shelter the Homeless

Idaho Organizations Working to Shelter the Homeless

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A heated shelter and emergency shelter overflow program is designed to provide people with shelter during freezing temperatures.

BOISE, Idaho – What do you do when there isn’t enough capacity at homeless shelters during the winter? As temperatures continue to drop, shelters and community organizations have planned to answer this question to help Boise’s most vulnerable population.

Our Path Home is a public-private collaboration working to end homelessness and is led by the City of Boise. Their Emergency Shelter Overflow Program provides homeless people with a place to stay in unsafe conditions when shelters are full.

“As the shelters reach capacity this winter, the program will first work to provide a bed for everyone by prioritizing placement in the shelters. who we partner with,” said Eli Griffin, Our Path Home coordinator for the city of Boise. “So when there’s a program trigger event, like freezing temperatures, we can make sure people have a safe place to be at night.”

The City of Boise funds the program, which is managed by Interfaith Sanctuary.

“So if we can’t serve someone in our shelter on our property and we have to dismiss them, and if they’re not eligible to go to the other shelter, then we have funds to move them. to a partner motel to ensure that if possible, no one is sleeping outside who requests shelter,” said Jodi Peterson-Stigers, executive director of Interfaith Sanctuary.

Interfaith Sanctuary has also installed a heated shelter behind their building. The medical military tent blocks the wind and has a heater inside.

“We don’t have enough beds in our shelter to serve people who come to our shelter for overnight shelter. And it’s really hard to turn someone away from a shelter when it’s 19 degrees,” said Peterson-Stigers. . “So this tent allows us to add 21 extra beds. We have military beds and winter sleeping bags, we can actually make sure they’re on our property safely. We can do security checks. welfare, and we can let them in to use the services.”

Interfaith Sanctuary was able to purchase the M*A*S*H style tent from Boise Army Navy at a discounted price. Idaho Potato Drop shelter-ready with additional electric and propane heaters to run day and night.

Corpus Cristi House is another homeless shelter in Boise. Both shelters are expanding their day services to meet increased demand this winter.

Peterson-Stigers said the extreme heat and extreme cold are prompting more people on the streets to seek shelter. The fastest growing homeless population is the elderly, who can be medically fragile.

“Now with the increasing number of elderly people and people who are on the streets, even at the beginning of the month for us, because we are the low barrier refuge. We don’t see a lot of wiggle room,” Peterson-Stigers said.

To meet the increased demand, Interfaith Sanctuary and Corpus Christi are appealing for volunteers and donations.

“We’re actually looking to get support from the community because we’re going to have more people at the back of the property, so the volunteers would be very helpful with food service and making sure people stay warm, if they need donations of jackets and stuff like that,” Peterson-Stigers said.

The shelter is looking for volunteers, especially for their day shifts from Monday to Sunday. They are also looking for winter clothing donations.

“I think it’s important to know that at this time of year when people sort of try on their winter gear from last year, and if they think it’s not enough to fashion, or maybe it doesn’t fit them anymore, but it’s We need donations of winter jackets, underwear – like long sleeves, sweatshirts, sweatpants… anything that can increase core temperature for people who are outdoors during long exposure,” Peterson-Stigers said.

“And the one thing that’s happened, really in the last two years, is that homelessness isn’t just living in this area now,” Peterson-Stigers said. “There are people who have fallen out of their homes, who are living in their cars and who are maybe far from our resources. And they don’t really know that these resources are there because they have never been without shelter. So we’re asking the community to keep an eye out for that – if they see anyone who appears to be in distress. If they could carry coats and things in their car… Because I think that’s “The most concerning thing, isn’t it right now, is that it’s unclear who needs help if they’re not right in this area.”

More information about volunteering and giving can be found on the Interfaith Shrine’s website and on Facebook. Financial donations can also be made here.

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