Boise will open a homeless day shelter for young children and their parents today. Officials say the shelter will be a warm, safe place to go when families run out of other options this winter.
This is the fourth year in a row Boise Parks and Recreation will operate a temporary day-shelter for homeless families. Parents with children can visit the Pioneer Neighborhood Community Center seven days a week.
Paul Schoenfelder is the Recreation Coordinator for the City of Boise. He says the facility has books, computers, art supplies, television, and a large collection of toys. “You’ve got small children, two-three-four-year-olds, you have to keep them busy during the daytime, you want ‘em to be stimulated and you want them to have a positive experience, just like you’d want any child to have a positive environment to be growing up in.”
Schoenfelder says he’s heard stories of some parents who spend time in fast food restaurants, just trying to keep their kids warm and dry. He says the Pioneer Day Shelter is a better alternative. “One thing that we always hear from people is that they appreciate that they have a better place for their kids to go.”
Last winter, the shelter saw more than 3,000 visits from 41 different families. The Shelter will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through March. It's located at 500 S. Ash Street in Boise's River Street neighborhood.
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