This week the Boise City Council approved construction for a little known homeless shelter. The St. Peter Church of Immaculate Conception announced the...
The Boise North End community will be home to a new state-of-the-art homeless shelter.
Currently under construction, the shelter will soon be fitted with queen-size temperpedic mattresses and 4K flat screen televisions.
The non-profit Shelter Homeless Idahoans Today (SHIT), which is funding the project, says they’re interested in revolutionizing the ‘shelter industry.’
“Idaho’s homeless services are really lacking,”
“Idaho’s homeless services are really lacking,” SHIT Spokesperson, Anderson Gallson said. “We want to bring a holistic approach to ending homelessness. So, things like wifi, room service, and yoga classes are what we’re bringing.”
Although the new shelter will have 20 fully equipped rooms, only 2 will be available for the homeless. The other 18 will be available for short term rentals on Airbnb.
“When the city refused our Airbnb operation, we had to come up with another plan,” Gallson said. “We were very excited when we found a loophole that says if 10% of all new units are ‘affordable housing’ then we can build whatever we want.”
SHIT’s project even qualifies for Boise’s Urban Renewal Program, which will provide the shelter with a $20,000 grant, or $1,000 for each bed.
As with all new Boise developments, many residents are opposed to the project.
Gabby Rollins, a 20-year North End resident thinks the shelter isn’t a good fit, “I just don’t understand why they can’t build it in west downtown where all the other shelters are. The more closer together they are, the better I think.”
Other residents, like Dr. Peter G. Stuart, thinks funding for the project is the issue, “The city is handing money over to a developer, which conveniently registered as a non-profit, which is using that money to make Airbnbs. That’s unacceptable.”
Gallson defended the project, saying local residents can benefit from the shelter.
“We’re going to have an indoor pool with guest passes for locals starting at $20 a day,” he said. “The rooms are starting at $200 a night on weekdays, and $250 on weekends. Oh, and $500 a night during Treefort.”
The 2 shelter rooms reserved for the homeless will be free, although the extra’s are not included.
“Those 2 rooms are free, but you’ll have to provide your own linens, you won’t get access to the Yoga studio or the pool, and check out is at 7am. But you’ll have the option of paying for the deluxe option.” Gallson said. “The deluxe shelter experience runs at $200 a night, $250 on weekends, and $500 during Treefort.”
When asked how SHIT would verify the homeless status of their ‘shelter room’ guests, Gallson explained they are not going to use “prejudice.”
“We hate all forms of prejudice,” he said. “We aren’t going to judge you or ask for proof of how you could afford that Louis Vuitton bag or Channel sunglasses. If you select the check box under the ‘are you homeless?’ questionnaire on the website, then that’s all the verification we need.