With each pass of the rake guests from Interfaith Sanctuary are working to make Boise the most livable city in the world. It’s part of a partnership with Boise Parks and Recreation that gives the homeless guests seasonal employment for 9.25 an hour paychecks that can change their lives.
"Seven of our guests have moved out of the shelter because of this program. They are not homeless anymore,” said Jodi Peterson, Co-director of Interfaith Sanctuary.
This is now the second crew working which means that now around 14 people have a steady paycheck, but along with that comes the opportunity for growth.
“Three of those now have made their way out of the program and have moved into working full time essentially as a seasonal worker for us,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway.
They said it is changing the guests attitudes and giving them something they can truly be proud of.
“Some of them have said to me it makes them feel human again cause there is something really dehumanizing about being a homeless person,” said Peterson.
They said the partnership has been such a big success it’s being used as a model for change around the country.
“This isn't just work we are finding for someone to do to get them off the street,” said Holloway. “This is work we need to have done so it’s not only providing great value to the city but providing great value to the employee as well."
But it’s also being recognized locally for the positive contribution it has made on the city. Just today it was announced that the J.A and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation is providing Interfaith Sanctuary with more than 100,000 dollars to insure the program continues to thrive.
"That was really to help adopt costs associated with part of the work program. That’s a big chunk for us. It’s super helpful,” said Peterson.
"We are just excited about this summer and continuing to work on our partnership with Interfaith and continue to see this successful,” said Holloway.