McLean halts new Interfaith Sanctuary shelter following neighborhood outcry


This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

The Interfaith Sanctuary homeless-shelter relocation will be put on hold, Mayor Lauren McLean says.

The project was intended to move the shelter from its current downtown location to a former Salvation Army thrift store in the Veterans Park neighborhood at 4306 W. State St.

McLean said a new city task force will evaluate new locations over the next two months.

Residents near Veterans Park had protested the move and spoken out against it during neighborhood discussions with McLean. McLean disagreed with the “tone and tenor” of those discussions.

“Rather than focus on the work of the partnership and the challenges before us, the attention was on the proposed location of Interfaith Sanctuary,” McLean said in a news release. “The nature of the discussions around the project are not representative of who we are as Boiseans.”

McLean met with Jodi Peterson, executive director of Interfaith, on Thursday morning. She requested that Peterson pause Interfaith Sanctuary’s application for a conditional use permit on the State Street building that was submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission. According to the release, they “came to the decision” to put the move on hold.

McLean announced she is putting together a task force that will assess the city’s shelter needs over the next eight weeks and evaluate potential new locations for the shelter.

The Veterans Park location will still be considered, McLean said. The task force will be made up of Our Path Home partners, a Boise City Council member, health providers, residents who have experienced homelessness and neighborhood leaders.

“As we move through the process of the shelter needs analysis and ultimately identifying the right location for a new emergency shelter, I ask that we center conversations around our values of compassion, community and service,” McLean said in the release.

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