BOISE, Idaho — The winter warming shelter in Boise has provided relief for many people experiencing homelessness during these snowy days.
"We were definitely the place to be," said Jodi Peterson-Stigers, Executive Director of Interfaith Sanctuary. "We served about 180 guests on Saturday and Sunday, but the building is adequate. You know we have a warehouse. We were really able to serve anyone who needed shelter on the weekend."
Since November, Interfaith Sanctuary and Corpus Christi House have worked together to operate the shelter located at the former Foothills School of Arts and Sciences building.
"Normally Corpus Christi is our day shelter located right on the front side of the Interfaith Sanctuary on Americana. Because of the pandemic, they've really only have been to offer showers and laundry with no hospitality inside. They partnered with us to create a day shelter for the wintertime," Peterson-Stigers said.
Thanks to its large size, it's been a place to provide homeless residents with food, social support, and warmth in a COVID-safe setting.
"Every Thursday, we test in the warehouse with Crush the Curve, and that helps us kind of stay on point with how COVID is doing. In the last three weeks, we had zero COVID cases with our Crush test," Peterson-Stigers said.
The building is expected to be demolished next month after its lease ends. Interfaith is hoping to find an alternative site to keep the warming shelter running but is still figuring out the details.
"Hopefully, there will be no break in service and will move into this new building. The lease is not signed. Our hope is that we will be able to serve about 90 of our guests, and Corpus Christi will slowly start to reopen as a day shelter, services as well, and kind of work in conjunction," Peterson-Stigers said.
The warming shelter is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.