Boise Mayor announces new task force to address homelessness and shelter solutions

City of Boise
Posted at 3:28 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 13:32:16-04

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean announced members to a new task force created to help the city address homelessness and emergency shelter solutions.

The group, named the Shelter Better task force, will "explore options for doing shelter better and to create a solution that’s right for our city," McLean said in the announcement.

The task force will come up with a recommendation on how the city should approach emergency shelters, where they are located, available services. The group's first scheduled meeting is Tuesday, July 13.

Related: Boise Mayor Lauren McLean asks Interfaith Sanctuary to 'pause' move, establishes task force

"I am grateful to each of the members for their commitment to this work and to serving our most vulnerable residents. I know that together we will find a Boise solution that uplifts everyone in our community," McLean said.

Related: Boise asks Interfaith to ‘pause’ new shelter location. What happens next?

The task force members include:

  • Chair: Courtney Washburn (non-voting member)
  • Boise City Council: President Elaine Clegg (non-voting member)
  • Interfaith Sanctuary: Jodi Peterson-Stigers and Andy Scoggin
  • Our Path Home Executive Committee: Stephanie Day and Bea Black
  • Hospital systems/Health Clinics: Jen Palagi and Dr. Penny Beach
  • Outreach: Street Outreach Team: Jeannette Curtis
  • Neighborhood Association Presidents:
    • Veterans Memorial Park – Katy Decker
    • Collister – Neighborhood Leader
    • Sunset – Tom Helmer
  • Neighborhood Leaders:
    • Jennifer Godoi
    • Annie McCutcheon
  • Lived Experience/Expertise:
    • Serena Hinojosa
    • Joe Hernandez + Tammy Keagy
  • Faith Leaders: Padre Jesús Camacho and Sara LaWall
  • Business Leader: Charity Nelson

Members of the task force told Idaho News 6 they are ready to start collaborating.

"I'm looking forward to taking a shared collaborative approach to finding substantive alternatives to the location proposed, and to adjusting the proposal to increase the inclusion of shelter practices," said Decker.

Peterson-Stigers said she is willing to keep an open mind and learn throughout the process.

"I will do whatever is necessary for Interfaith Sanctuary for our staff, or our guests for our community to learn and just...follow the course. Because I just want to make sure that at the end, we're able to continue to do the work we love which is taking care of all different kinds of humans, who the only thing they have in common is they don't have a house, but they all have amazing stories amazing potential and, you know, we want to have a better place to serve them. That's all we want."