Building demolition will wait so Boise & nonprofits can open winter homeless shelter

Posted at 4:03 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 18:03:28-04

BOISE, Idaho — This article was written by Margaret Carmel of BoiseDev.

A warm place to go is opening for those experiencing homelessness in Boise during the pandemic.

On November 1, several organizations and the City of Boise are opening the former site of the Foothills School of Arts and Sciences across from the Boise Main Library as a warming shelter through the winter. The City of Boise approved Tuesday $72,000 to lease the building on River Street through the end of February, with the possibility of extending the lease another month to the end of March 2021 for an extra $18,000.

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Emergency shelter Interfaith Sanctuary and Corpus Christi House will run the shelter, which will provide computer access, meals and beverages served daily, case management Monday through Friday, a clothes donation closet and weekly support groups.

Interfaith Sanctuary Executive Director Jodi Peterson said the owners of the school site planned to demolish it at the end of the month to make way for a planned multi-story housing development, but held the demolition so the shelter could open.

“We are so grateful to the City of Boise and The Wilcomb family for helping us create this Winter Warming Shelter and thrilled to be working alongside Corpus Christi to bring a safe, warm and supported space to our homeless this winter,” she wrote in an email.

Those who wish to use the shelter must wear a mask and use hand sanitizer, use designated smoking area and follow the behavior code. The number of people allowed in the shelter at one time will change daily depending on the number of volunteers.

This follows the City of Boise’s partnership with CATCH and Interfaith Sanctuary to use the Main Library as a cooling shelter during the summer while Corpus Christi House remains open in a limited capacity. The day shelter needed to be relocated because library branches reopened for browsing.