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Frigid weather causing strain on warming centers and homeless shelters

Posted at 10:48 PM, Jan 15, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — Winter is having a heavy impact on Treasure Valley's homeless population. Local warming centers and homeless shelters are feeling the pressure, as they operate at max capacity every night.

  • Interfaith Sanctuary now using recovery center and a military medical tent to offer shelter to extra people
  • Serving close to 200 people a night
  • Trying to not turn anyone away during this time
  • Volunteers needed as more people access the shelter for warmth

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

With intense winter cold hitting Idaho, places like Interfaith Sanctuary are doing everything they can to help those in need of shelter.

“There are so many risks. There’s frostbite. There’s respiratory damage. There’s just actually hypothermia like your body got too cold and we can't warm you up,” said Jodi Peterson-Stigers, Executive Director of Interfaith Sanctuary.

And Jodi Peterson-Stigers, Executive Director of Interfaith Sanctuary says if not careful, things can be dangerous for people struggling with homelessness.

“These temperatures, there’s not much room for error,” said Peterson-Stigers.

That's why Interfaith is now using a military medical tent and their recovery trailer as extra space during this time.

“We save lives by day with recovery, and we save lives by night with warmth,” said Maranda Jay, shelter director with Interfaith Sanctuary.

Even with added spaces, numbers are still reaching max capacity every night as this homeless shelter serves close to 200 residents a night. The higher numbers also mean a higher need for volunteers.

“Having some extra bodies to help us with outreach and managing the health of the people who are outside, this is a good opportunity,” said Peterson-Stigers.

Interfaith will continue to help people in need, hoping to never turn anyone away during winter.