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Interfaith Sanctuary Fundraiser Is Part Of New Mission At The Homeless Shelter

Interfaith Sanctuary
Artist Rachel Teannalach donated original paintings of Interfaith Sanctuary's mural for the silent auction.

Boise’s Interfaith Sanctuary is holding a musical benefit Thursday night at the Record Exchange. Its directors say they’ve changed how they look at homelessness and now rely more than ever on the generosity of the community.

Interfaith Co-Director Jodi Peterson says in the past, the Sanctuary had two licensed social workers to serve 164 guests at night at the shelter. But Peterson says that wasn’t enough. So they upped the budget from $650,000 to one million dollars, and now employ 10 case managers.

“Because our budget reflects our investment in our staff because of our investment in our guests. And it’s made a huge difference, I mean huge," says Peterson.

In 2015, Interfaith moved 48 people out of the shelter into housing. But a lot of those people weren’t prepared to handle the change and ended up back at the shelter three months later. Since last April, after adding more case managers, they’ve moved 68 people into housing by helping each person individually and providing ongoing support to keep them off the street.

Peterson says another change was the decision not to take federal money, because it comes with too many strings attached about how long people can stay in temporary housing. She says the benefit will help Interfaith keep pace with its new mission.

Curtis Stigers, Rebecca Scott, Bill Coffey and other artists will perform at the fundraiser. They’ll be singing songs about home and shelter. Stigers wrote a song about Interfaith called “You Are Welcome Here,” that he’ll premiere at the benefit. It starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Record Exchange.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life!). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.

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