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‘Tired and sad’: Interfaith director, mayor respond to vandalism of proposed State St. shelter

Vandals defaced Interfaith Sanctuary’s State St. building over the weekend.

You can see in the picture above that someone crossed out the welcome sign in the window. Interfaith Sanctuary posted about the vandalism on Facebook, stating, “Whoever chose to vandalize our property with hate, we choose love and will keep fighting for the rights of our unhoused population. Hate never wins.”

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Interfaith Sanctuary Executive Director Jodi Peterson-Stigers says a police report has been filed, and crews installed cameras Monday to help prevent any future incidents. In the past, Peterson-Stigers says people have thrown trash and dog poop next to the building.

“It makes me feel tired and sad because what we are proposing to do in that building is a very thoughtful program,” Peterson-Stigers told BoiseDev. “It’s not something that’s going to allow a neighborhood to be overrun with homeless people. It’s a safe place for families with children and for people who are trying to get back on track.”

Peterson-Stigers added that the welcome sign would likely have to be peeled off and re-painted.

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Mayor responds

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean took to Twitter to write about the vandalism.

“The reprehensible vandalism of Interfaith Sanctuary’s building does not represent who we are as Boiseans, and there is no place for these actions in our community,” she said. “‘A City for Everyone’ isn’t a slogan, it’s a mission we work toward every single day. Acts of hate like this are a literal and figurative stain on that mission and our efforts to help those in crisis. There are some tough decisions ahead of us. To find answers that help us shelter better, we need to come together and keep hold of our values of compassion, community, and service.”

As BoiseDev previously reported, the organization hopes to put a new 200-bed housing project and a day shelter in the State St. building, which is the former Salvation Army warehouse.

The project faced heavy opposition from neighbors, and Mayor McLean decided to pause the project last June, but it started to move forward again in recent weeks.

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Gretchen Parsons - BoiseDev Managing Editor
Gretchen Parsons is BoiseDev's managing editor. Contact her at gretchen@boisedev.com.

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