Second Chance Project


Interfaith Sanctuary’s Reimagined Shelter Project creates a space of safety, opportunity, support and second chances …

Interfaith Sanctuary’s current location is 10,000 square feet and we are bursting at the seams!

We are serving approximately 140 guests at our emergency shelter and 87 guests at our hotel shelter.

Within the walls of our 10,000 square foot shelter we offer the following programs:

  • Project Recovery- on-site full time recovery program offering safe space, group support, one on one counseling, activities, case management and a supportive shelter community.
  • Project Well Being- on-site full time mental health program designed to create a safe space for our guests to find their balance and begin their journey forward. Programming includes counseling, support groups, yoga, art, music, creative writing. This is home to our Guest’s newspaper “Word on the Street”
  • Monday Meet Up- support to our guests managing the criminal court system and needing access to agency services. These agencies bring their tools to our shelter one day a week.
  • Work Training Program- Guests are employed by The City of Boise Parks & Rec. Dept. Interfaith Sanctuary provides transportation to and from work and has a work site case manager to support our guests as the reenter the work force.

Our Hotel Shelter houses our families with children and our most medically fragile. Programming at this site includes:

  • The Family Daytime Program is an all day program that includes; parenting classes, nutrition, case management, transportation, full time preschool, on-line school for our school age kids, support groups for teens and adults and supportive services.
  • We also house our most medically fragile at our hotel shelter providing a safe space for these guests to be during the day and night. We are able to provide home health, respite and hospice care at this shelter site along with activities, transportation, nutrition and end of life planning.

Our current shelter is limited in how many guests we can provide programming to because of our tight quarters. We want to be able to keep our seniors safely housed, provide a safer setting for our families with children and create more meaningful space for our guests who are employed but still homeless because of a lack of access to affordable housing.

The Salvation Army Building, the proposed site for our reimagined shelter is taking a “Housing First” approach to providing shelter, support, services and second chances day and night.

The main building will bring community, case management and class room space for our programming which includes:

This project will offer safe space to our single adult men and women needing shelter and support day and night. The day shelter will be open to all of our guests and will offer access to bathrooms and showers, supportive services, case management, a computer library, meals and programming including support groups, the homeless art collective and a lovely outdoor space for resting, gardening and recovery.

The main shelter will also include a special senior and medical dorm. This safe space will offer daytime programming, activities and privacy rooms to allow our guests access to home health, hospice and respite care along with senior programming.

The second building will have two stories and will be converted into our Family shelter creating space for families to stay together. The Family dorm will include:

  • Beds for up to 112 families members plus cribs for babies
  • A full time preschool classroom
  • Family dining area
  • Teen computer and activity room
  • Playground

The third building will become our community kitchen, dining area and day shelter. Here we will offer a Food Service Training Program for our guests. Participants will help us prepare and serve three meals a day to our homeless population while gaining experience and knowledge to move them into food service industry.

The back area directly behind the building will be secured for our guests and will include:

  • A Park
  • Outside Dining Area
  • A Community Garden
  • A safe outdoor setting that is not set on a main street and allows our guests privacy as they work their way out of homelessness.

The Salvation Army Building is the perfect reimagined shelter site to offer safe shelter at night and second chances everyday for our Interfaith Sanctuary Shelter Guests! Until there is available housing we will offer shelter with a “Housing First” approach in partnership with CATCH and Boise District Community Schools. Together we will work to find housing for our guests and “create a safe, healthy, connected community by embracing Housing First best practices” including sheltering those without housing, building collaborative partnerships and advocating for more housing solutions in our community.” 



How many people will you serve at this building?

Currently we are looking at space for 275 beds. Those beds will accommodate:

Reimagined Shelter Bed Counts

  • Families Bed Count- 112 (plus cribs for babies)
  • Senior/ Medical Men: 22
  • Senior/Medical Women:12
  • Incentive Beds- Men: 24
  • Incentive Beds- Women: 12
  • Mens dorm: 58
  • Women’s Dorm: 36

Total Beds: 276

Are my property values going to go down if you move here and if yes, what are you going to do about that?

There are several studies that look at the impact of supportive and transitional housing projects moving into a neighborhood as well at emergency shelters. The most common data shows that in cases where there are supportive services and access to shelter throughout the day the property values were not affected and in some cases the values went up. By creating a shelter that allows for daytime and nighttime services this eliminates the need for the homeless guests to find a place to be until the shelter opens back up. The supportive services, meals, access to bathrooms, shower and protected outdoor space reduces group gatherings and crime rates. The numbers that increase regarding crime in a neighborhood with a new shelter is normally attributed to crimes against the homeless, not an increase in crime in the neighborhood.

How will you keep people from parking their cars in front of our houses?

Current parking lot: 10 spaces

New location: 30 spaces

For our guests with car insurance, registration and a valid driver’s license, they will be permitted to park in our lot. All other cars will be moved to a secure parking lot (we are currently negotiating a lease on a property) to store our guests cars until they are able to legally operate their vehicle. For any guest parking in an unauthorized parking space, we can be reached on our 24 hour shelter phone to manage the issue for you.

Why did you choose an area that is already predominantly low income to put a shelter?

We have been looking for a new location for our shelter to help increase shelter and services for over 3 years. Based on size, location and budget of project this location would allow us to move to an area where our guests would be able to receive more safety, security, privacy and space while still being on a bus line, having access to needed services like grocery, drug store, bank and employment options. We did not target a certain town or income level.

Is the City forcing you to move your shelter so they can increase the value of the real estate where your current shelter is?

NO Interfaith Sanctuary is a privately funded non-profit that does not receive any federal funding.

What will you do about the drugs, loitering, trash and criminal behavior that will come with your move to our neighborhood?

WE PROMISE TO WORK WITH ANY ISSUES THAT OCCUR OUTSIDE OF OUR SHELTER PROPERTY. We will have a 24/7 phone number that anyone in the neighborhood can call to assist with any issues including loitering, littering, mental health concerns, someone who looks like they need help, cars in neighborhoods. All of this will be dealt with swiftly. We will also have in place neighborhood behavior contracts for all of our guests so they understand the rules as a guest of our shelter and their responsibilities as your neighbors. If we can form a welcoming network as we move into this neighborhood we believe this will improve dramatically our ability to reduce recurring.

Where will the guests go during the day when the shelter is closed?

Our guests will not be asked to leave our shelter. Our operations include daytime programming plus a day shelter which allows our guests a place to be when they are not working on programming, going to work or managing personal needs. The day shelter provides supportive services, case management, access to computers and bathrooms, meal service, laundry and activities.

Will you be operating a soup kitchen for anyone in need of a meal?

Our food service program will be for the guests who are currently staying at our shelter. The programming will allow for up to 275 guests daily so we will plan our meal counts around those numbers. Corpus will continue to operate downtown and will offer meals to anyone in need in the downtown area along with Boise Rescue Mission.

Why are you moving your shelter away from all of the homeless services?

Interfaith Sanctuary provides many of the services our guests need within our own building. Our partners include several agencies that will bring their staffing and support directly to our guests. We will be providing our own day shelter and CATCH will have a satellite office at our new location to help serve the housing needs. We have an outreach medical program through Family Medicine Residency of Idaho and most other services are not located within walking distance of any of our shelters. We provide transportation to health and welfare, the DMV, Social Security, Doctors appointments, counselor appointments, etc. Transportation has been a major part of our programming in the past 6 years based on the public transit struggles our guests deal with on a regular basis.

Will the homeless start setting up camps in our neighborhood to receive your daytime services?

The guests that utilize a shelter are actually asking for a safe place to stay. Those in our homeless population who choose to live outside because of shelter resistance will not relocate to this area. They are not looking for shelter. This building is allowing us to add more beds which will in effect reduce the numbers of people who sometimes do need to stay outside because our shelter is full. This shelter actually offers the solution for reducing people having to sleep outside, loiter because they have nowhere to go during the day and improve safety with a secured location where our most vulnerable can’t be preyed on because they are no longer stuck out on the street.

The Good Neighbor Agreement:

A Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA) establishes a vision and sets goals for how residents, businesses, and services will work together to support mutual success, communicate, and address concerns and solve problems.

Participants hope to work together toward the following goals:

  • Initiate and maintain open – transparent – proactive communications
  • Develop clear expectations and procedures for resolving problems
  • Enhance neighborhood safety and livability while promoting access to services
  • Foster positive relationships between the shelter and neighbors
  • Provide adequate services & staffing support 24/7
  • Maintain a 24/7 shelter phone number
  • Establish clear expectations & rules for shelter guests that promotes guest & resident safety
  • Encourage guests to be good neighbors by:
  • Reducing litter
  • Discouraging large groups from gathering in public areas
  • Minimizing the impact on neighbors of smoking
  • Encourage guests to have a sense of ownership in the community
  • Invite neighbors to build connections & working relationships with the shelter
  • Maintain cleanliness within & around the shelte