Word on the Street Issue 21, May 2022
By Jodi Peterson-Stigers
After over a year of conversations, pauses, hearings and denials, the Boise City Council overturned a decision by the Planning and Zoning Commission and voted to allow Interfaith Sanctuary to move our homeless shelter to the former Salvation Army building on State Street.
The process was long and the lessons were difficult but we truly believe we will all be better for the journey. The conversation around our homeless community was lifted and we all learned together about the real needs and the best practices to address those needs.
Thank you to the city of Boise staff, council members and mayor for putting hours and efforts into this decision.
Thank you to the Interfaith Sanctuary board members for taking on a much bigger role to help us navigate this process.
Thank you to Interfaith Sanctuary staff, guests and volunteers for staying strong and focused.
Thank you to the Boise Faith Group for lifting up the conversation and offering hope and guidance.
Thank you to Boise/Ada County Homeless Coalition for your active engagement every step of the way.
Thank you to all who wrote and came out to testify on behalf of our shelter.
Thank you to Clark/Wardle, Erstad Architects, Guho Construction, Brice Sloan, Peter Ashwin and Howard Belodoff for helping create and stand by our organization and project.
The thoughtfulness, deep discussions and added conditions will allow Interfaith Sanctuary the ability to create a shelter with best practices, partnership and accountability.
Our hope now is to begin the healing process and start the work of building bridges.
Rabbi Dan Fink, a treasured member of our board, shared this message after the hearing:
“We now begin the hard but sacred labor of growing trust and partnership with the folks who will be our new neighbors–and who I thank in advance for your forthcoming hospitality. I am confident that by listening and learning together, we will build something that serves our guests and strengthens the neighborhood and the city. We are better together.”