The many ways you can help Interfaith Sanctuary! | Interfaith Sanctuary

The many ways you can help Interfaith Sanctuary!


Interfaith Sanctuary: Your Community Shelter

Interfaith Sanctuary began as a community response to homelessness. From our opening day in 2005, volunteers, donors, and supporters have been an integral part of our work.

Members of our community give to Interfaith Sanctuary in so many ways, through volunteering at the shelter, providing in-kind gifts, hosting events, and offering monetary donations. All are vitally important in meeting the needs of those experiencing homelessness.

Members of our community give to Interfaith Sanctuary in so many ways, through volunteering at the shelter, providing in-kind gifts, hosting events, and offering monetary donations. All are vitally important in meeting the needs of those experiencing homelessness.

Our shelter on River Street houses up to 164 men, women and families with children each night of the year, and provides over 55,000 bed nights and meals annually. Without the support of our local community, we would not be able to continue saving lives and rebuilding futures.

By working together, we can get homeless people out of the shelter system through our STEP program and back in the community as a vital citizen.

Whether you’re a faith, civic or service organization, we have numerous opportunities for you to meet your mission goals and positively impact the lives of our less fortunate Boise neighbors, children, and families.

Here are some ways to get involved:


Your organization can pursue opportunities to serve, learn about, and advocate for homeless members of our community.

To support our guests you can organize supply drives, provide monthly meals, participate in our adopt-a-family and holiday gift drives, design your own service project, host a fundraiser, or designate monetary donations. (More details about many of these ideas are elaborated below).

To pursue educational and advocacy programs about the issue of homelessness, faith groups can plan a service or create an educational presentation at your meetings (adult/youth groups, social justice or community outreach ministries).

Civic and service groups can plan a meeting around the topic to educate your members. In both cases, we can work with you to schedule a shelter tour for your group and provide an educational presentation.

Please contact us for more information and to discuss your organization’s mission or ministry goals.


Monetary donations to Interfaith Sanctuary are so very important, they are imperative to help us meet our annual operating costs and keep our shelter open.

Now 100% of our budget comes directly from local individual donors, faith-based organizations, and service organizations.

Because monetary donations are our greatest need we offer many ways for your donation to make the biggest impact:

  • Designate Interfaith Sanctuary as part of your annual budget and contribute a once a year gift or commit to monthly giving;
  • Fund our work through your group’s social justice/action committee or benevolence fund
  • Hold a designated offering or collection for Interfaith Sanctuary quarterly or yearly
  • Commit your organization to “owning” a part of Interfaith Sanctuary, your community shelter, by selecting a month to pay the monthly mortgage of $500 and become a part of our permanent giving tree mural.


Each week there are 40 volunteer shifts available at the shelter. By volunteering either as an individual or a group for these hands-on work shifts at the shelter you help us maintain our low staff numbers and economical budget and provide a better nightly experience for those staying at the shelter.

Your work experience may include welcoming and checking in guests, answering the evening phones, serving meals, or morning cleaning.


Providing in-kind gifts, particularly those items on our master supply list (such as dental hygiene, razors, and diapers) means our operating dollars typically spent on those items can go directly to running the shelter. Supply drives can be organized at houses of worship, in the workplace, civic clubs, and as an alternative giving the option for holidays or birthday parties!


Barbecues, picnics, and holiday dinners are all greatly appreciated by our guests. They help to “normalize” life while living at an emergency shelter. We also look for entertainment opportunities such as cultural or musical evenings which add life enrichment for our guests.


One of the ways that Interfaith Sanctuary has been able to operate on such a lean budget over the years, while at the same time providing high-quality services, is through the generosity of skilled and generous community members. We may be able to use your professional services and skills to either offset necessary expenses and/or supplement supportive services for our shelter guests. Areas of interest include:

  • Maintaining our shelter facility:  plumbing, heating/air conditioning, building improvements, paving, and landscaping;
  • Supporting our staff:  accounting, public relations, marketing, printing, graphic design, ad space;
  • Supporting our shelter guests: legal, medical, and dental services, resume writing, employment coaching, counseling, financial budgeting and parenting workshops.


The holidays are a wonderful time to consider adopting a family or person in need. You can become a sponsor of a guest or family easily, here’s how:

If you want to help, please tell us what you would like to do!

Our guests all need the basics, new underwear and dental hygiene items, clothing, and anything that makes sense for a person to be comfortable.

It’s very simple to do this. You can call us at (208) 343-2630 at the administrative offices and tell us how you can help, or you can drop off donations to us either at the administrative offices (Mon-Thurs 10-4PM) or at the shelter after 6 PM. *The shelter phone number is 208-343-4160

Please email us at with any questions and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

At Christmas time and the holiday season, please let us know if you would like to drop off any unwrapped toys we can sort and make sure all of our shelter children get a present from a special Secret Santa.   This allows us to make sure all the girls and boys get a gift to unwrap at the holidays.

Some of the items we always need include:

  • Gloves, hats, scarves & scarf sets – all sizes
  • Sweat pants and shirts for adults – all sizes
  • New underwear for men, women, and children
  • Socks, socks and more socks! Tube socks – all sizes
  • New thermal underwear sets for men and women
  • Sweaters for all
  • Flannel or other warm shirts for all
  • Hygiene and personal care items (e.g., toothbrushes,
  • Small tubes of toothpaste, deodorant, tweezers, nail
  • Clippers, brushes, combs
  • Hand and foot warmers

DONATION DROP-OFF INFO: Donations can be dropped off any night of the week at our shelter location, 1620 W. River Street in Boise, between 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Find directions to the shelter at Upon arrival, please enter through the fenced area and ask for the shift manager.


We greatly appreciate our friends in the community who host fundraising events to benefit the shelter. This is a great way to increase awareness about homelessness in our community. If you’re interested in hosting a community benefit for Interfaith Sanctuary, please contact us to discuss how we can lend support to your event.

With advance notice, we can provide a Sanctuary representative for your event, along with public relations materials. We can promote your event through our electronic newsletter and social media. If you are planning to host an internal fundraising event for employees or at a house of worship, we’d be happy to schedule a shelter tour to help kick off your event.


Each year in December, the Xtreme Holiday Xtravaganza, a Curtis Stigers/Jodi Peterson Production, is hosted at the Egyptian Theatre.

Not only has this concert become a beloved holiday tradition, but all proceeds benefit Interfaith Sanctuary. You can support Sanctuary just by attending and bidding on auction items.

Donations of auction items are needed, such as professional services, dinner certificates, experiential adventures, or vacation getaways.

Keep an eye out for our late fall e-newsletter for information.

How to Begin:

Contact us by email at or phone us at (208) 343-4160. We’ll provide any information you need, discuss your ideas for getting involved, and put you on the path to service.

Thank you for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!