Uncategorized | Interfaith Sanctuary

Help us fund our amazing Interfaith Staff!

Mural Photo October of 2016 Interfaith Sanctuary left federal funding to move to private donations only. We did this so that we could remain true to our mission and our guests.  Funding often comes with strings that cause non-profits to re-create themselves over and over again to get those dollars to their organizations.  Interfaith Sanctuary is determined to remain focused on the work we have promised to our homeless guests.  We have a team of case managers that support our guests one step at a time to help them get back their strength, health and self-sufficiency to hopefully move out of our shelter to a better life.  As the development director, I am charged with the task of raising the dollars necessary to shelter our guests, pay our staff, cover the hard costs of the day to day operations of our shelter, provide funding for special programs to help our guests in their recovery and to constantly be creating ways to improve the lives of our guests while they are with us at the shelter.   Interfaith Sanctuary needs funding to pay our staff.  I write this blog today in hopes that we can get more of our community to donate to our shelter in a very sustainable way, become a recurring donor.  Donors can choose to donate monthly an amount that makes sense for them.  Shelter costs $12 per night for each of our 164 guests.  Donors can donate $12 a month to help us cover one night of shelter.  ID replacements cost $10 per guest.  Perhaps you would like to cover the cost of one ID or 10 ID’s per month.  The cost for a family of four to receive a night of shelter is $48.  Would you like to sponsor one family a week or month?  Whatever way you choose to help means so much to our staff and guests.  It is very easy to sign up.  Go to www.supportingshelter.org and choose your level and frequency. We need to raise an additional $100,000 to help us cover our end of year costs for 2016-17.  Our calendar year ends on June 28th.  Can you help us?

Thank you Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery – Eagle

Thank you to Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery – Eagle and everyone that helped make the Bardenay Charity Night hosted for Interfaith Sanctuary last Monday a success! They raised $1,300.00 for our Shelter guests! It was a great opportunity to share what we do at Interfaith and how we serve our guests.

“At Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery, we’re invested in our communities. Whether giving back to the citizens and organizations of Boise, Eagle and Coeur d’Alene or serving as a leader in Idaho’s restaurant industry, Bardenay is fully involved. We love Idaho and we’re committed to improving and maintaining our state’s way of life. The goal of Charity Nights at Bardenay is to be a good neighbor and to provide a vehicle for charitable organizations to raise awareness and funds. Charity Nights are held the third Monday of every month at each Bardenay location. Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit is eligible to apply.”

A Better Life: Justin’s Story

Justin has been with us for five years off and on. Last year, after he met one of our volunteers that was in the technology field, which is something that enthralls Justin, he decided to focus on his education. Justin went to school every week for six months. When he wasn’t at school he volunteered around the shelter day and night.

In May of this year he took and passed the GED test. Immediately after passing the GED we helped him apply for Boise State University, which was his school of choice. After writing a very persuasive essay about why his life would be improved if he was allowed to attend, he was accepted into BSU and given a housing assignment on campus.

As this was going on, his work ethic shined through. When the summer came and all of his friends were out floating the river and having a good time, Justin was back at the shelter donating his time and staying focused on  getting out of the shelter for good. Justin’s final financial aid award came through and even with the grants and loans he was able to get he is still a little bit short for the first semester. I am sure we can all remember the cost of going off to school for the first time, I certainly remember it costing much more than I expected.

Justin has no family to support him on his journey. His mother was a prostitute whom he never knew and his father is himself homeless. He has no grandparents or other family that would traditionally support a young man who is working so hard to make a better life for himself. Justin has the drive to succeed. He talks about his future and about getting a degree in computer science. He wants to go on to graduate school and become a professional in the technology field. This is amazing for someone who grew up in homelessness and has seen failure his entire life.

Justin's story


I used the university’s online calculator to estimate his need for assistance and this is what I came up with. We need to help Justin raise $3,232 to cover all of his expenses for this school year. Here is what that looks like:

Justin’s estimatedEXPENSES and Financial Aid


$ 3,740

Housing and Meal Plan

$ 4700


$ 600

Personal Expenses and new school clothing

$ 1000

Computer and book bag


Total cost for Justin



$ 7,608

Shortfall for 1st Semester

($ 3232)

Justin will eventually find a job on campus that will help him with some of the personal expenses. But, Justin has been homeless for his entire life, and his clothing represents that fact. I would like to take him shopping and get him clothing that will help him feel successful before he even starts his classes. I am sure we can all relate to the fact that when we look good, we feel good. I also think it is extremely important for Justin to be equipped with a laptop computer and book bag. I like Apple, mostly because of the stability, but anything would be very helpful. If anyone has a decent Apple computer they would be willing to donate, I think we can take it to the Mac Store downtown and have it cleaned up and updated with the latest version of OS. If there is anyway you can help me help Justin, I would truly appreciate it.

For more information you can contact Justin’s case manager, Tim Flaherty at tim@interfaithsanctuary.org.


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thankyouThanks to your generous and timely support, Interfaith Sanctuary is the recipient of almost $30,000 in donations and over $10,000 in grant prizes from the Home Partnership Foundation, winning 4th PLACE in the 2014 Avenues for Hope campaign!

This friendly competition encouraged phenomenal community support for numerous Boise non-profits, many of whom are Sanctuary’s partners in our everyday work of providing emergency shelter; we are all winners in this contest! From the Early-Birds to the Benefactors, to the $25 multitude, you heard our challenge-call and responded with giving spirits! You can start the New Year confident in the knowledge that you are a problem solver, contributing to help our homeless neighbors. We couldn’t provide Sanctuary for over 900 individuals a year without your help. From Sanctuary’s staff, board, volunteers and guests, we wish you many blessings in 2015!

Photo Credit: Thank You, Creative Commons License, derriel street photography.

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is Power! Make a lasting difference in the lives of our community’s homeless population by simply casting an e-vote! Interfaith Sanctuary is very excited to have a freshly remodeled hospitality space for families at the shelter. Thanks to the great work of Guho Corp. and OATHS, families now have a common area in which to come together and take-care of the loose-ends of the day, similar to a shared living room. We believe education is the key to a better future, and envision this space as being a resource for parents and children; a calm environment in which to finish up homework, check messages and find inspiration for the next day. In order to achieve this vision, we would like to fill the room with educational materials such as paper; pens; pencils; calculators; wall maps; workbooks; dictionaries; educational magazine and newspaper subscriptions for youth and adults; books for adults on parenting, finances and health; coloring books and crayons; and educational software for youth and adults for the planned computers. You can help us fund this vision by simply voting for our proposal to the Idaho Power Company, under the Powering Tomorrow Education Grant Opportunity. Please vote now!: Click HERE to vote. Thank you!

(Voting is open through January 23, 2015. Voting instructions: Visit https://www.facebook.com/idahopower/app_130660760316387?ref=page_internal; log-in to FB ; scroll down and click on “See more stories from you neighbors”; find “Knowledge is Power” posted by Szilvia; and click Vote!)

OATHS Gives Interfaith Sanctuary a Makeover!

Event: Open House Thursday, August 14, from 1:00-2:00 pm
Location: Interfaith Sanctuary at 1620 W. River Street Boise, Idaho

oaths-painting-interfaith-sanctuaryThe Organization Assisting The Homeless Student (OATHS), has fully renovated the family room at the Interfaith Sanctuary Homeless Shelter. OATHS is a non-profit student organization founded by Ben Skinner in 2010 to help homeless students get what they need to enjoy, succeed, and stay in school. For more information about OATHS go to http://www.takeanoath.org.

Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services is a collaboration of people of faith and people of conscience who have joined together to shelter and serve those experiencing homelessness. The Sanctuary provides overnight shelter for men, women, and children, and provides supportive services that promote greater self-sufficiency, improved well-being, and permanent housing acquisition. Read more about the Sanctuary at http://www.interfaithsanctuary.org.

OATHS’ volunteers painted the walls and floor, provided a flat screen television and DVD player, and furnished the room with books, games, art supplies, and DVD’s. OATHS also furnished the room and purchased a dining table and chairs, bookcases, and study tables from Idaho Correctional Industries (ICI). ICI is an offender-training program that teaches work and life skills and prepares offenders to be successful as they return to our communities. They produced, delivered, and set up the furniture at Interfaith.

The renovated room is filled with beautiful black and white photographs provided by the INSIDE OUT PROJECT, a global participatory art project that gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement for what they stand for. The project is a global platform for people to share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art. Check it out at http://www.insideoutproject.net.

The renovated room will serve a variety of functions at the Sanctuary. Families staying at the shelter can share a meal and watch a movie. Children will also have a place to read, do their homework, play games, and do art projects. The makeover was a perfect fit for OATHS’ mission which is to provide homeless students support for educational success.

The renovation will be on display and open to the public on Thursday August 14th, from 1:00-2:00 pm, at the Interfaith Sanctuary located at 1620 W River St. in Boise.