Their belongings are stuffed into a couple of big plastic totes stacked outside with everyone else’s. Their days are spent at the library looking for work or hanging out at a day shelter if it’s too cold to be outside.
After 5:30 p.m. each night, they can crawl into the refuge of a double and single bed pushed together, in a bedroom they share with three other couples and their children, too. It’s warm and safe and dry. But still, there is little they can call their own.
Since Nov. 1, Theresa and David Copley, and Erica, 5, and David Jr., 2, have been living at Interfaith Sanctuary, a shelter for men, women and families with children.
“I was actually grateful for this facility,” says David, because family members could not provide a safe harbor, and they had nowhere else to go.
Fifteen other families also live at Sanctuary — 48 adults and children — maxing out its capacity for families who are hoping and waiting for a place in a transitional housing program. The Copleys should be hearing about their application soon.
“Living here is not bad,” says Theresa. “If you want to help yourself, they can help you. The hardest part of being here is if you don’t have transportation. Our car quit several years ago.”
The Copleys were homeless once before, when they were first married in 2006. “We came from poor homes, and we didn’t want Erica to grow up with the wrong people,” says Theresa.
They were able to save enough money to get an apartment in Caldwell, and then Payette, where they lived for three years. They lost the apartment in a process that is still frustrating and painful for them to recall.
Theresa qualifies for disability and David is looking for work. They’re both working on their GEDs, and Theresa hopes to complete all her tests in a few months.
In the meantime, the holidays are approaching. “This is temporary,” says Theresa, speaking aloud a hopeful promise to herself and her family.
“Hopefully, we’ll be out of here for Christmas.”
Katherine Jones: 377-6414