Homeless families in Boise are challenged each day when the overnight shelters are closed. To accommodate the needs of families with small children, Interfaith Sanctuary has created a new daytime program that begins Monday, Nov. 6.
Singing, laughter and smiles fill the shelter for the first time during the day, as the shelter opens its doors for a new family program.
"There's babies napping in strollers on street corners because they're not welcomed at certain places and they're asked to leave," said Jodi Peterson, Interfaith Sanctuary Co-Director.
The sanctuary now offers daily family programming, with educational opportunities for small children, parenting classes, nutritious snacks and scheduled nap times.
On average, around 60 people stay in the shelter's family wing, with children ranging in age from newborn to teens.
"I think its essential to have a program like this," said Jeff, a shelter resident. "Without it, we're stuck out on the street and without having a place to go. It's just really bad."
For Jeff and Dawn, parents to three-year-old Hope, this program makes the shelter feel like a temporary home.
"What they provide here is the best thing a family could ask for when you're in transition," said Jeff.
Homeless families who have school-age kids will be offered after-school programs, nutritious snacks and case management, as well.
If you're in the giving spirit, the shelter could use some help getting this initiative rolling.