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Boise shelter providing resources to help homeless stay safe during heat wave

Interfaith Sanctuary is looking for donations for items like water bottles, sunscreen, clothing and anything else to keep people hydrated and safe from the sun.

BOISE, Idaho — As record-level temperatures continue to arrive across the Treasure Valley the new few days, people are looking to escape the heat. However, not everyone has a place to go.

"This time of year, you do see more people out because it's not cold and they're not hiding from the elements," said Jodi Peterson-Stigers, the executive director for Interfaith Sanctuary. "You may see more people in need."

Interfaith Sanctuary is collecting donations and providing services to those who do not have a place to call home. The shelter teams up with other organizations and gets assistance from the community to provide items, like water bottles, sunscreen, clothing and anything else to keep people hydrated and safe from the sun.

"That's across the board," said Peterson-Stigers, adding they partner with Corpus Christi House to hand out more donations to those living on the street who don't utilize their shelter system.

Interfaith Sanctuary is open seven days a week and provides breakfast and lunch to anyone who needs supportive services during the day.

When the pandemic hit and places shut down last year, Interfaith became a day shelter for the whole community, according to Peterson-Stigers.

Last summer, the shelter only had a small shaded area outside. Since then, Interfaith has been able to significantly increase shade coverage for anyone to use during the day.

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"As the need grew, we can make more people comfortable at once," said Peterson-Stigers.

Peterson-Stigers said the Treasure Valley is experiencing more homelessness than in past years. She notes it a lot to do with the pandemic and growing population that has made the cost of housing more expensive.

"There are a lot of people who are homeless not with us," said Peterson-Stigers. "They're in their cars, they're figuring out how to be homeless for the first time. They're navigating a system that they don't know how to do."

Interfaith Sanctuary encourages anyone who can help to do so.

"I fear that they won't know where the resources are yet," said Peterson-Stigers."If you see someone struggling, lend a hand if you can."

The shelter serves about 220 people and is always looking for donations. People can call (208-343-2630) before dropping off donations or use Interfaith's Amazon Wishlist to purchase items.

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