Word on the Street Issue 15, October 2021
By Erin Sheridan
Stephanie Day, executive director of CATCH, sits on the Our Path Home Executive Committee and helped lead the vetting process for Interfaith Sanctuary’s State Street shelter project. Here’s what she had to say about the committee’s decision to support our shelter’s relocation.
Erin: How did the committee vet the plans for the shelter on State Street and what were the criteria in terms of best practices?
Stephanie: We asked to review the business plan — so we looked at the actual modeling for the building, the programming, and the staffing structures. We also talked about best practices integration. The Boise Shelter Better Task Force had discussed those previously, and we talked about which of those best practices would be incorporated into the new shelter. We then looked at budget feasibility and did a data analysis of the need in our community. Those three pieces are how we vetted.
Erin: Why did the committee decide to endorse and support this project?
Stephanie: Our Path Home approved supporting and endorsing this project because the shelter will integrate the best practices we would want it to integrate. There’s a huge need for shelter as a community. The current shelter has been what we’ve done as a community because we needed to, but really, best practices show that it would be great for there to be a space for people to live in that doesn’t look like a warehouse, and for there to be more privacy and safety for people who are medically fragile. We really feel like this project is needed and feasible.
Erin: Why is emergency shelter still a necessary piece of our continuum of care?
Stephanie: Emergency shelter is always going to be needed. People need a place to be while they’re working on relocating to permanent housing; that need won’t go away. We’ll work on the development of more affordable housing. But even if we had enough affordable housing, you still need a space to land while you’re going through the process of looking for housing, applying, and being approved. In the best case scenario, where we have enough housing, we still need a place for people to be while they are unstably housed.