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Permanent Sanctuary


Boise's roving homeless shelter now has a permanent address.

Interfaith Sanctuary, a group made up of several different religious organization's, purchased a 10,200-square-foot warehouse, the former location of U.S. Glass and Mirror, last week, and plans to open the building as a crisis shelter on Nov. 1.

We didn't know about this building until two months ago," said Will Rainford, media spokesperson for the group. Purchase price for the building was $800,000, funded through loans from The Idaho Housing and Finance Association and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise.

The location, 1620 River St., is next to the Corpus Christi House day shelter. "We could not have asked for a better building," Rainford said.

The new shelter will be divided into three separate areas: one for single men, one for single women and one for families.

More than 100 beds have already been donated to the shelter, along with bedding for each. The shelter is still looking for lockers for each temporary tenant.

During its first year, Rainford said the shelter will offer only basic services, but organizers hope to begin offering more comprehensive services next year. These services will include what Rainford calls "curative restorative care," which will basically help deal with the issues that cause homelessness, including addiction and finding jobs that pay living wages.

Rainford said eventually the group would like to open a preschool for homeless and low-income families, as well as partner with groups like the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the Idaho Department of Labor and Veterans Administration to provide more services.

In its past two years of existence, Interfaith Sanctuary has rotated locations around Boise while seeking a permanent home. On average, the facility has housed between 75 and 100 people per night throughout the winter months.