Downtown Boise’s expanded day shelter for the homeless population is closing and services will return to their old location.
At the end of March, Interfaith Sanctuary and Corpus Christi House’s temporary winter day shelter across the street from the Main Library will close to make way for the property to be redeveloped into a multi-story housing development. Dubbed The Warming Shelter, the building opened to accommodate the homeless community between November and the end of March while inside locations, like the library, are still closed due to COVID-19.
Interfaith Sanctuary Executive Director Jodi Peterson-Stigers said she searched for a new location to move the expanded day shelter, but could not find one in downtown. In the meantime, she said guests who are currently staying at Interfaith Sanctuary will be able to spend the day and have meals on the shelter’s property behind the building. Other members of the homeless community who are staying at other shelters or are unsheltered can return to Corpus Christi House’s small building.
“Not everyone wants homeless people in their neighborhood and it makes it a little more challenging right now to find a location that is open to having us there,” Peterson-Stigers said. “We’ll work it out, but we have to temporarily go back to our very humble abodes.”
A few weeks ago, Peterson-Stigers attributed the larger day shelter to the lack of trash and loitering in Cooper Court alley between Interfaith Sanctuary and Corpus Christi House while it was open.
Vaccines coming to homeless shelters
Homeless Idahoans, and others in congregant living, recently became available for vaccination against COVID-19. Peterson-Stigers said Family Medical Residency of Idaho is holding vaccine clinics for Johnson & Johnson vaccines every Saturday. As of last weekend, she said 166 people had been vaccinated with the one-shot injection.
She said they were happy to get access to the vaccine because it will protect the homeless community, who have high levels of underlying health issues, from hospitalization and potential death from COVID-19. Peterson-Stigers said they are working to educate the community on the usefulness and safety of the vaccine.
“We want higher numbers, but we have a lot to overcome but I think we all feel optimistic that each week that we’re offering the vaccination we’re getting more people because they’ll see their peers getting it and they’re ok,” she said. “There’s some fear and some distrust and it’s a big focus right now to be available to have the conversation.”