In downtown Boise, recently announced plans to construct a homeless shelter have many local business owners upset and making arrangements to move out of the area. The city, however, is defending its decision to approve the shelter.
"Interfaith Sanctuary Housing has purchased a 10,200-square-foot building at 1620 River St. for its permanent home, using $800,000 in loans from the Idaho Housing Finance Association and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise."
"The shelter will open Nov. 1 and operate 365 days a year, offering shelter and rehabilitation services for about 100 homeless people at a time."
"The owner of a nearby auto shop says the shelter will create too many problems, and he's selling his building. A medical office manager says that office intends to move."
"City officials say the new shelter is in an area zoned for such purposes and there is no evidence that services for homeless people create neighborhood disinvestment."
"'We hear those concerns, but don't know if we see evidence of that,' said Jerry Todd, spokesman for Boise's planning and development department. "Homeless shelters have to go somewhere and need to be Downtown," he said. 'This area is specifically zoned for homeless shelters. In fact, it could accommodate more as the need arises. It's an approved area for that type of activity.'"