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Interfaith Sanctuary commits to West State Street location

After 10 weeks of meetings with the Shelter Better Task Force, Interfaith Sanctuary is moving forward with their original plan to shelter at W. State Street.

BOISE, Idaho — After a several-month pause, Interfaith Sanctuary is taking the necessary steps forward to relocate their homeless shelter to the old Salvation Army building on West State Street.

The shelter has submitted its Conditional Use Permit to the city citing some changes to aptly align with best practices for homeless shelter as outline by the Shelter Better Task Force, which was formed by the City of Boise. Changes include staying open 24/7, offering up to 205 beds and providing programs local agencies like CATCH to find permanent housing solutions for guests.

"There was only one building that would really work with the timeline, the budget, the location, and the criteria," Interfaith Executive Director Jodi Peterson-Stigers said. "What we're doing is creating a real safe way for people who choose shelter to be protected. Because out on the street is where all the harm happens when you have no place to be all day."

Interfaith has been patient through the process, but some neighbors are vocally against the State Street location.

Credit: Interfaith Sanctuary
Interfaith Sanctuary submitted plans and renderings for their proposed homeless shelter at what used to be a Salvation Army building on State Street in Garden City.

Ren Gardner is a nearby resident has lived just off State State for decades. The neighborhood is lower-income, according to Gardner, and has done a good job recently of cleaning itself up.

"Where are they gonna go? We believe they're gonna come around here,"  Gardner said. "We've had theft problems in the past because of the drug situation and we're afraid that may come back to the neighborhoods again."

Interfaith said it's important for the public to have faith in them. As Interfaith navigates this move, Peterson-Stigers said there will be another public hearing where those with concerns can voice their opposition and be heard.

Interfaith does not have an official date or time set for the public input; however, those belonging to nearby neighborhoods should expect a letter shortly.

"We know what we're doing we know why we're moving to this building, we know we're going to be good neighbors," Peterson-Stigers said.