The City of Boise's Pioneer Neighborhood Community Center reopens its seasonal day shelter for homeless families today.
The shelter, which provides a safe environment for after-school latchkey kids, will also welcome moms and dads without a home from 8 a.m. through 3 p.m. until April 1, 2014. It's the program's sixth year.
"The intake here is quite simple. We get referrals from the shelters telling us about parents and pre-school-aged children who don't have an appropriate place to be during the day," Paul Schoenfelder, a youth services coordinator with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department told Boise Weekly.
BW visited the Ash Street facility during the 2011 Christmas season (BW, News, "Christmas on Ash Street," Dec. 21, 2011). The location is ideal for many of Boise's homeless: On the south side of Ash Street are rows of low-income housing, where scores of kids come home from school to empty households. A block and a half to the northwest is the River of Life Rescue Mission for men. A few more blocks to the west is the Interfaith Sanctuary shelter, where families and couples can sleep together under the same roof, and about a block to the north is the Corpus Christi Day Shelter, where the city's homeless migrate each morning when the night shelters close their doors.
But the Corpus Christi day shelter isn't necessarily a place for children. That's why the office of Mayor Dave Bieter decided to ask the Department of Parks and Recreation—already managing the Pioneer Center as an after-school program—to do double-duty, offering the facility to homeless families during the winter months. Every morning, as many as 50 homeless moms, dads and infants show up at the Ash Street center. They can stay until 3 p.m. but have to leave before the after-school kids show up.
Donations of diapers, baby wipes, socks or cash for baby supplies and youth activities are welcome at the Pioneer day shelter. Please contact Paul Schoenfelder, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 608-7688.