Interfaith Sanctuary | Shelter & Supportive Services | Page 2

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


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Interfaith Sanctuary Presents the I AM Project


On Thursday, May 7, Interfaith Sanctuary will present The I AM Project at Modern Art (1314 W. Grove St.) from 5pm-10pm in Room 233.

The I AM Project was created as a way to tell a story of our guests in an artistic format. We were blessed by an amazing group of professionals: author Alan Heathcock, photographer Jay Saenz, Boise State University Theater Arts professor Michael Baltzell, Public Arts Manager for Boise City Department of Arts and History, Karen Bubb, and Interfaith Sanctuary’s Public Relations/Marketing Manager, Jodi Peterson!

The I AM Project began with our shelter guests responding to a set of questions asking about their favorites…subjects in school, books, movies, foods, jobs, band, etc. Photographer Jay Saenz then came in to photograph ten of our guests who are included in the art installation and video.


What’s Your Favorite Book?

Bradley’s is the Gunslinger Series.

View the I AM Project video below and see how our guests responded.


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.

Final Stretch for Avenues for Hope & your Year-End Donations!

Your generosity is helping keep Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services on track to win matching support from the Home Partnership Foundation, which will greatly help us continue to provide emergency shelter and supportive services to over 900 individuals in need throughout 2015.

To get us through the final stretch of the Avenues for Hope campaign, we need your help in expanding our reach! We encourage you to invite friends and family to help multiply the blessing of providing shelter to people experiencing homelessness in our own community.

As you know, the Avenues for Hope campaign is a competition between Idaho non-profit agencies. As of Tuesday, December 30 at 5:30 pm, Interfaith Sanctuary is in 4th place for the total number of gifts. With approximately 45 more gifts of $25 or more, we could move into 3rd place and receive a $5,000 award (1st place is $10K, 2nd place is $7K, 3rd place is $5K). An additional $5,000 would help us provide 500 nights of shelter and supportive services for an individual.  The good news at the moment, is that Sanctuary is #1 in the dollar amount raised, but only by a margin of $2,000.

The deadline to give is midnight, December 31 (tomorrow!). Remember that each person’s donation is only counted towards the contest once, so please consider breaking your larger donations into the increments of $25 (ex: $100 into 4 donations of $25 by 4 people; this can be a spouse, child or grandparent – anyone with a separate e-mail address in whose name you would like to donate, or to encourage to donate)! Gifts in increments of $25 and $100 earn Sanctuary special match bonuses and are encouraged.

Of course, ALL donation amounts are welcome, as total gifts are tallied for additional match opportunities, but they must be received at: by midnight on December 31st! So, to realize the all the blessings of giving, including a year-end tax-deductible status and grant-matched awards, rally your circle of friends, post on facebook, forward this email to friends, and hurry to donate to Interfaith Sanctuary now!

We THANK YOU for your support and wish you many blessings in the New Year!

In Gratitude,

Jayne Sorrels

Executive Director

P.S. You can track how we’re doing by clicking on the leaderboard tab on the top bar at the Avenues for Hope website(

Turn $25 into $10,000!

Interfaith Sanctuary is again participating in the Home Partnership Foundation’s Avenues for Hope fundraising challenge this year! This challenge is a great way to raise operating funds for Boise’s homeless shelter on River Street, and an effective way for you to leverage your Holiday giving.

Thanks to the generous and timely support of our community of donors, Sanctuary is currently in the lead with the largest donation amount! Here are some tips to help keep the momentum going and realize the most grant matches from the sponsors: The challenge is online at Donations in increments of $25, $100, and $5,000 earn Sanctuary special match bonuses and are encouraged. The organization with the most number of gifts over $25 wins an additional $10,000 as a grant match from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association; with your help, Sanctuary can be that organization! $10,000 would provide multiple nights of shelter to Sanctuary’s predicted 850+ homeless guests in the coming year. Of course, ALL donations are welcome, as total gifts are tallied for additional match opportunities. However, each person’s donation is only counted towards the contest once, so please consider breaking your larger donations into the increments listed above and sharing the opportunity with family and friends (ex: $100 into 4 donations of $25 by 4 people)!

If you are planning on making a Holiday / end of year financial contribution to a local charity, we invite and encourage you to support Interfaith Sanctuary through this match opportunity. Your support will make an even bigger impact through the Avenues for Hope campaign, so don’t delay! Donations through this campaign will be accepted between December 10th – 31st.

On behalf of the board, staff and guests of Interfaith Sanctuary, we thank you in advance for your genuine concern for reducing homelessness in our community. Your contribution through this match opportunity will greatly strengthen our efforts in the coming year. We wish you a wonderful Holiday Season!

About the Campaign:

The Avenues for Hope Housing Challenge is presented annually by the Home Partnership Foundation, a 501(c)3 created by Idaho Housing and Finance Association in 2005. This challenge-based grant opportunity was created during the economic downturn in 2011, to help Idaho nonprofits attract new donors to support their homelessness prevention and shelter programs. The goal of the Avenues for Hope campaign is to strengthen housing-related nonprofits throughout Idaho by encouraging individual donations to help prevent homelessness and improve affordable housing options.

About Interfaith Sanctuary:

Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services (Sanctuary) is a collaboration of people of faith and people of conscience who have joined together to shelter and serve individuals experiencing homelessness. Opened in 2007, Sanctuary provides overnight shelter, a light evening meal and supportive services for up to 160 men, women and children, every night of the year. Sanctuary offers tailored services to a wide sector of those experiencing homelessness, including the underserved populations of two-parent intact families, and single mother families with a male child over the age of 12, or single father families with female children of any age, who are not eligible for emergency shelter services at any other location in Boise. Sanctuary’s shelter building is located 1620 West River Street in downtown Boise and is open from 5:30 pm to 7:00 am daily.

Your Donation Will Support:
Sanctuary’s target population is men, women and families with children who are homeless, often with characteristics including mental and physical illness, veteran status, victims of past domestic abuse, substance abuse issues and employment issues. In addition to providing emergency shelter to meet the growing need for overnight refuge in our community, Sanctuary also implements Supportive Services programs to promote greater self-sufficiency, improved well-being and permanent housing acquisition for shelter guests. Your donation will help Sanctuary provide shelter and supportive services to over 900 of our homeless neighbors in 2015


memorialvigilOn Saturday, December 20, service providers, homeless and formerly homeless people, religious leaders, and concerned citizens will honor the lives of nine individuals who died either while homeless or who were recently housed this past year. Five homeless advocates will also be remembered.

The Candlelight Vigil will be held at Interfaith Sanctuary, 1620 W. River Street from 7 – 8 pm on Saturday, December 20. Hospitality will be provided at Corpus Christi Day Shelter, 525 S. Americana Blvd. immediately following the service. The interfaith program will include prayers, readings, and music from various faith traditions.

The annual memorial observation is a tradition among Boise community service providers and is held in conjunction with the National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day traditionally held on or near December 21st—the longest night of the year. Boise is one of more than 175 cities nationwide to observe the memorial.

The Vigil is sponsored by Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services, Corpus Christi House Day Shelter, Mosaic Street Ministries, El-Ada Community Action Partnership, and CATCH, INC. and is open to the public.

For more information email