I AM not that different from you.

It’s not black and white. There’s many reasons why someone might find themselves homeless but they are still people

You Are Welcome Here – an original song written for Interfaith Sanctuary by by Curtis Stigers and David Poe

Shelter Stories

With Shelter Stories we invite you to get to know some of our guests. Understand how they grew up, who they are and the circumstances that brought them to Interfaith Sanctuary.


Ross has a light in his eyes that nothing could extinguish. He has a deep reservoir of emotion and an even deeper capacity for love. Ross is the epitome of a man who, when life was the roughest one could imagine it to be, drew on his ability to turn tragedy into triumph. He is an example for all of us to follow. My hope is that whoever reads this can gain at least a tiny bit of his resolve. I left this interview thinking that if I only had a fraction of Ross’ “zest” for life, I’d be a rich man.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised [...] Read More »


Benson is a soft-spoken, gentle man with kind eyes. His courage in the face of so many obstacles is an inspiration.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Louisiana. It was just growing up, like everyone else. I have two sisters and four brothers. One died at six months but that was before I was born. Louisiana was hot and humid. We had fun times. Everyone in the neighborhood knew each other. We’d go in the backyard and climb trees you know just doing everything our mom told us not to do until she got home. I was raised Pentecostal so it was pretty strict. I guess they call [...] Read More »


I spoke with Charles in an office amid the incredible activity that is Corpus Christi House*. We were interrupted more than a few times by people who wanted help from “Chuck.” He truly is their go-to-guy. As he should, Charles takes great pride in what he has achieved. He gives me hope.

Where are you from?

“Growing up in Memphis was great. My father and mother were divorced. I hardly ever saw my father. My mother did the best she could to take care of us. My dad didn’t pay child support so we grew up very poor. Her step father was homeless so that’s how I got to know homeless people. [...] Read More »


The first time I laid eyes on Rick, he had a screwdriver in his hand. He was explaining to those around him a way to make the washer work, when it seemed as if the machine would never wash again. Rick’s laugh is pure joy. He is well spoken and intelligent. If I stepped into this interview with any negative preconceptions about homelessness, they were proven wrong yet again. I thank Rick for his candor and for the many laughs we had together.

1. Where are you from?

“I was born in Boise in 1952. I grew up in the North End right across from Lowell Swimming Pool. One thing my dad [...] Read More »


Meeting Tim, I felt as if we could have shaken hands on the showroom floor of any business. He has an easy way about him. Everything with Tim is a soft sell, yet I left wanting to buy more. He cuts straight to the point and as in his words, “when you want to accomplish something, there’s just no other way.”

Where are you from?

“I was born in Medford Oregon. It’s about the same it is in Boise though Medford is more of a valley. The weather is pretty much the same. It doesn’t have as many people. I grew up in the city but I spent a lot of time [...] Read More »