Giving Homeless Boise Families More Than Just A Bed

Nov 8, 2017

Homeless families in Boise face a challenge each day as overnight shelters close, leaving parents with small children on the street. Now one shelter is opening its doors during the day, to help both kids and parents.

Wrangling small children isn’t always easy for parents in a stable, safe environment. For homeless parents, Jodi Peterson says it’s next to impossible. Peterson is co-Director of the Interfaith Sanctuary Shelter in Boise.

Peterson says something as simple as giving a baby a chance to take a nap is a struggle for homeless parents. Interfaith’s new daytime program will help.

“They’ll get to sleep in a quiet dark room and not in a stroller under the overpass or be asked to leave from a coffee shop because they were trying to nap their baby there,” says Peterson.

Kids will also get snacks, early education and afterschool programming, and a chance to just play. And parents will get help, too.

“Then we have a bunch of businesses who are helping us bring parenting classes and life skill classes and employment fairs and really connecting the parents to resources that can help them move forward,” Peterson says.

Interfaith opened its doors to families during the day on Monday and 14 family members were there with five preschool kids.

Peterson says the daytime program is a group effort, using donations from the community and partnerships with businesses and Boise State University. She plans to keep the doors open for families throughout the year.

Peterson says donations of nutritional snacks are appreciated, including peanut butter crackers, Goldfish crackers, peanut butter, healthy low-sugar granola and energy bars, low-salt pretzels, string cheese, cheddar cheese, and low-fat cheeses.

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