Interfaith Sanctuary brainstorms ways to support treatment for residents battling addiction

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 19:20:51-05

Substance abuse among the homeless population remains a widespread problem. With limited resources and inadequate funding, a local homeless shelter says it’ll take the entire community to help find a solution.

For the folks at Interfaith Sanctuary in Boise, helping the area’s chronically homeless can take a variety of forms. A lot of the time, overcoming addiction is one of them.

“We identify that as soon as possible, do what’s called a ‘gain assessment’ to actually establish what those addictions look like, and then our goal is to try to get them into some sort of funded treatment program,” said Jodi Peterson, co-director. 

But finding programs for those ready for treatment has been increasingly difficult. 

“Lately, there’s been no funding to put them into treatment,” said Jordan Pereira, assistant shelter director. “So, we’ve had to find other ways to get them the help that they need.”

Interfaith Sanctuary has been contemplating seeking donations or private funding to help cover treatment costs for residents, or finding medical professionals looking to do some work pro bono.

“…would they come and meet with us, come into our shelter, and create something that is a temporary solution for a much bigger plan later,” Peterson said.

No matter which way they go, it’ll take support from the community to make it work.

“We’re an emergency shelter. That’s what we focus on,” said Dan Ault, co-director. “Relying on all of our partnering agencies and professionals to come in and offer those services…that’s what’s going to help us get our guests to the point where they’ll be a part of the community again, because that’s what they truly want.”