Interfaith Sanctuary opens play area for kids to focus on being kids

Posted at 10:22 PM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 00:22:10-04

If you've been by Interfaith Sanctuary lately you may have noticed a new addition out front, a kids play area.

"This is a secure and safe area for our kids to play," said Jodi Peterson, co-director of Interfaith Sanctuary. "There is hopscotch and four square and tether ball and basketball and all kinds of educational games."

Since its opening just a few weeks ago, the area has been a huge hit, giving additional space to those who certainly have a lot of energy to burn.

"We have some tired adults who have been out on the street all day trying to manage whatever that looks like for them so this gives them a really nice reprieve," said Peterson.

Because Interfaith Sanctuary is split up into two sections, an area for singles and an area for families, the kids don't have a lot of space, but the new addition gives them an area of their very own.

"They eat their dinner and then they come out here and they run like crazy. This doesn't really look like a big space but we have little kids and they are bouncing balls and they are jumping rope and they are hula hoping and it's so active compared to what their nights have looked like before we were able to do this," said Peterson.

Data shows that for kids, living in an emergency shelter is a very stressful environment that can have long lasting impacts beyond the guests stay. 

By adding a play area, officials at interfaith hope to help mitigate those issues. 

"They say by adding playthings and toys and games and things like that for the kids will improve the chances of not having the effects of living in an emergency shelter," said Peterson.

But most of all, it just means an area for kids to be kids.