The Beacon Way

Graceful in the Storm

August 22, 2023 Beacon Media + Marketing Season 1 Episode 29
The Beacon Way
Graceful in the Storm
Show Notes

This informative 29th episode of The Beacon Way podcast explores the transformative insights on homelessness and mental health through Interfaith Sanctuary. Interfaith Sanctuary is a low-barrier homeless shelter in Boise, Idaho, providing a safe haven for everyone. Discover how they challenge misconceptions about homelessness and the intersection with mental health.

Key Points From This Episode: 

  • Interfaith Sanctuary is a year-round homeless shelter that began as a mobile winter shelter. 
  • The shelter welcomes all individuals, regardless of background, sobriety status, or sexual orientation. 
  • A new building has been purchased to expand the facility from its current 10,000 square feet. 
  • The shelter provides for approximately 170 guests each night with an additional 97 accommodated in a hotel during the pandemic. 
  • On-site programs include mental health services, a homeless art collective, a newspaper, and a food service training program. 
  • The future shelter plans to be a national model, focusing on de-escalation, continuous safety, and a secured space for progress. 
  • Homelessness is primarily due to system failures and limited housing availability. 
  • Mental health and addiction issues are generally a consequence of homelessness, not the root cause. 
  • Common triggers for homelessness include loss of income, health problems, inaccessible benefits, and loss of required documentation. 
  • Emphasis is placed on the importance of empathetic listening and assistance in mental health care. 
  • Interfaith Sanctuary offers several programs to help individuals reintegrate into the community. 
  • Former guests of the shelter are encouraged to take part in mentorship programs and support groups. 
  • Private funds sustain general operations while diverse funding streams support specific programs. 
  • Despite facing opposition and legal setbacks, a capital campaign is underway to finance the new shelter. 
  • The local community significantly contributes to the funding of Interfaith Sanctuary's operations.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:  

Jennifer Christensen on LinkedIn 

Jennifer Christensen on Twitter 

Beacon Media + Marketing 

Beacon Media + Marketing @beaconmm