Boise & Garden City

Boise homeless shelter’s new playground lets kids be kids

Boise homeless shelter builds playground for kids

Jodi Peterson, co-director of Interfaith Sanctuary, talks about a new playground for kids at the homeless shelter. A ribbon cutting will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the shelter, 1620 River St.
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Jodi Peterson, co-director of Interfaith Sanctuary, talks about a new playground for kids at the homeless shelter. A ribbon cutting will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the shelter, 1620 River St.

Homelessness is stressful and exhausting for people of any age — but for kids, it’s especially unsettling.

A new outdoor play area at Interfaith Sanctuary aims to help children staying at the Boise homeless shelter have some fun. The fenced-in area features four square, hopscotch, tetherball, a basketball-type game and a colorful alphabet soup of letters and numbers painted on the blacktop.

There aren’t any jungle gyms or other structures — and that was by design, said Interfaith Co-Director Jodi Peterson.

“We wanted this to be very interactive,” she said.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter will join others at a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the new playground will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

The playground was funded by Bishop Kelly PATHS, the Nagel Foundation and Idaho Gives donations. Also planned for the playground are some solar panels that will provide some shade and generate electricity for the shelter.

About one-third of the 164 beds at Interfaith Sanctuary are occupied by families. The shelter is at 1620 W River St, and the playground is on the west side of the building, along River Street. The shelter operates largely on private donations.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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