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McLean's 'Shelter Better' Taskforce Lays Out A Roadmap For Interfaith Sanctuary

A mural of the Interfaith Sanctuary building.
Interfaith Sanctuary
A mural of the Interfaith Sanctuary building.

Mayor McLean’s Shelter Better task force met for the first time setting the criteria for a new location for Interfaith Sanctuary. In this meeting they set up the cornerstone for the weeks to follow.

A group of 16 community members, including housing advocates, neighborhood representatives and even faith leaders, sat in a circle of chairs for the meeting. The group was given guidelines for the new location but not everyone agreed with them.

“The team and I will brainstorm ways to do that in a structured way because there probably are some pieces that are not negotiable,” said Jen Schneider, the facilitator for the task force, as well as professor in the School of Public Affairs at Boise State. “There might be other pieces where we can have discussions and feedback.”

The current guidelines say the new space needs to be practical and ready to use for the new Interfaith Sanctuary’s day-to-day operations soon. There has to be enough space to maintain current operations and add capacity for future longer-term housing.

The shelter needs to be close to services like a medical center, and if it’s not, it needs to be close to public transportation to get there.

The representative from Interfaith Sanctuary says the pandemic has broken down communication and trust between the community. The task force is trying to fix that.

Follow Gustavo on instagram @gus.chavo

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