Community helping homeless with clothing and kids' play area

Local students help homeless children

BOISE - To prepare for the colder months ahead, a Boise homeless shelter helped those in need stock up on essential items Saturday.
Interfaith Sanctuary had its first ever pop-up thrift shop - a place for people struggling with homelessness to shop around for free.
"I feel like a new person, honestly," Meaghan Sletto said. "I'm always cold during the winter. I can layer up and still be freezing at night."
The shelter is thanking the community for stepping up in such a big way, but the clothes aren't the only generous donations recently given to Interfaith Sanctuary.
An area just outside the Interfaith Sanctuary building will soon become a brand new playground for children who call Interfaith Sanctuary home.
"We wanted it to be about playing with your kids; kids playing with kids," said Jodi Peterson, co-director of the Interfaith Sanctuary. "We have babies, and we have teenagers that want to go on their first date. We have little girls who want to be ballerinas, and one that wants to be a princess."
The play area is being made possible with help from Bishop Kelly High School students in a service-learning program called PATHS - Program Aiding The Homeless Scholar.
"It's going to be a nice place for the kids to go kind of forget about all the crazy things in their lives and take some time, play, and not worry too much about anything," said Bishop Kelly student Patrick Perez.
"They're always inside, so we wanted to move them outside sometimes, so we're going to have a playground out in front," said Bishop Kelly student Carley Mings.
PATHS members delivered a $10,000 check to the Interfaith Sanctuary Saturday.
"These kids come every Tuesday to tutor and mentor and play with our kids, so they have a very clear and real understanding of life at a shelter for a child or teen," Peterson said.
Peterson said the B-K students made the play area possible by fundraising and asking the Nagel Foundation for a grant to get the project going. People who contributed on Idaho Gives Day back in May helped raise another $20,000 to complete the dream.
"They get to be kids. They get to go out in their backyard and play with their friends and have some ball time after school, and not just wait outside," Peterson said.
The hope is to have the playground open by December.
A project is in the works to cover the play area and install solar panels that will power the shelter.
As for the pop-up thrift shop, Peterson said they hope to do another one some time in late November.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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