BOISE, Idaho — This article was written by Margaret Carmel of BoiseDev.
Boise’s homeless community will have a new place to warm up this winter.
Starting this week, anyone in need of getting out of the elements can go to the new Warm Up Day Shelter on at 511 S Americana Boulevard next door to CATCH to warm up, get a shower and access case management. The shelter will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week through the end of March. It is in the former location of The Phoenix, which used to offer support for those in recovery.
This shelter is a partnership between CATCH, Corpus Christi Day Shelter and Interfaith Sanctuary to bolster the resources available to the homeless community during the winter. This is similar to last year’s Warming Shelter hosted at the Foothills School, but with a smaller capacity of 50 people at a time. Masks are required for entry.
This shelter will be in addition to day shelter services for guests at Interfaith Sanctuary on their property and limited services at Corpus Christi Day Shelter.
“Warm Up Day Shelter and that is to help us with the overflow because between the two of us we are not big enough to handle the need in our homeless population,” Interfaith Sanctuary Executive Director Jodi Peterson-Stigers said. This is to ensure anyone who needs to get inside out of the elements gives us enough space to do that.”
Since last winter, Interfaith Sanctuary has begun allowing its guests to stay outside behind its building during the day instead of kicking guests out until it is time to check back in for the next night. Peterson-Stigers said there are meals available to shelter guests throughout the day and heated tents for them to stay in during the winter.
Corpus Christi House, which traditionally serves the unsheltered homeless population and anyone else in need, is remaining open at a limited capacity. Their patio is open as well as computers inside, access to mailboxes and showers, but guests cannot congregate inside the way they did prior to the pandemic. Corpus Christie is operated almost solely by volunteers, many of whom are retired and at risk of COVID-19 due to their age.
Unlike this point last year, the Main Library is also currently open for anyone to visit, use the computers, check out books and get out of the cold weather.
Peterson-Stigers said the Warm Up Day Shelter is looking for volunteers to assist guests and donations for warm winter clothes and hot beverages, like coffee, hot apple cider and tea.