Word on the Street
December 2019, Issue 4
Bursting at the Seams - Images from last month’s article A Shelter Full of Hope and Second Chances colored by children staying at Interfaith.
“Methamphetamines got me stuck,” Marcus said. “I really wish I “Yes, I’m in a wheelchair but at the same wouldn’t have done that drug. I’ve been down here for so long, too long. I time I am more capable than a lot of lost an apartment because of it, but is name is Marcus. We call him now I’m finally sober and everyone “Marvelous Marcus,” and for people think.” here (Interfaith Sanctuary) is helping good reason. Simply put, he is to keep me sober.” Now, Marcus has marvelous. He’s brave, grateful, lived his longest stretch sober since honest, and most of all, Marcus is being a kid. optimistic. His story is not an easy one, as his early life was full of uncer“I don’t even think about the tainty. He has a single mom and an drug,” Marcus said of his addiction. absent dad all while his grandparents “I’m at that point. I’m just thinking were trying to help. Years of living in about my future and what kind of life I one homeless shelter after another, he want. This place (Interfaith Sanctuary) begged his mom to get a job, but she has been an eye-opener and it’s pretty never did. much saved my life, because I do have a feeling that the drug would have One day, when Marcus was ended me if I wouldn’t have known walking down the hallway of his high that the Sanctuary could help me… school, his legs gave out and he fell. That’s why one day I rolled through His mom took him to several the front gate… I just knew I wanted to hospitals, but doctors did not know get into a program like this, like what was going on. At the fourth Project Recovery. And that brings me hospital, St. Luke’s, Marcus was here today, and I could never be more diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis thankful than I am today for all of you (MS). MS happens when your guys, for the help that I’ve had.” immune system attacks a fatty material called myelin, which wraps around Marcus and 23 other guests at your nerve fibers to protect them. Interfaith are engaged in Project Recovery, Interfaith Sanctuary’s new Without this outer shell, your in-treatment program in partnership nerves become damaged. Scar tissue with Recovery 4 Life, an addiction may form. The damage means your “I just knew I wanted to get into a program like treatment center that is providing brain can’t send signals through your programming inside the shelter for our body correctly. Your nerves also don’t this, like Project Recovery. And that brings me guests working on recovery. Everyday work as they should to help you move this group works together to bring here today and I could never be more thankful and feel. community, healing, art, well-being Marcus is one of the youngest than I am today for all of you guys, for the help and hope to each other. As Marcus people to be diagnosed with it, but that navigates this new sobriety and MS, he that I’ve had.” did not stop him from fighting to is learning to ask for help in doing the change his circumstances. He things that will make his life more graduated from Nampa High School comfortable. hugged.” The next six months were picture with honors and then conquered his fears of perfect. Marcus had an apartment, a son, and his His friend Geoff, also a heights so he could get on a plane and see the fiancee had a job, so Marcus could be a participant in Project Recovery, gives Marcus his world. He went to almost all 50 states and two stay-at-home-dad. shower each day while the others help him with other countries, France and Mexico. his meal preparation and laundry. Marcus “I stayed home, because I just wanted to Along this journey, there was a girl he met in has brought this group together in a very special spend time with my son,” said Marcus. “I never middle school, whom he dated on-and-off. One way. He has given each of them a sense of useimagined being a stay-at-home dad. I parented day, out of the blue, she called him with some fulness by allowing them to be a part of his my son and loved him like no other, every day. very big news. She told him that she had a little care. His big dream is to stay clean and sober and And yes, his name was Isaiah, also my favorite boy who was now four and a half years old and go back to school to study Kinesiology. Because book in the Bible. That was my world for six that he was Marcus’ son. He rushed to see her so many people are helping him, he would like to months.” Then, tragedy struck again. Marcus’ and took a Greyhound to where she was, beautiful fiancée (they had gotten engaged) and be able to help others feel better. Lebanon Missouri. his sweet little boy died in a head-on collision “Yes, I’m in a wheelchair but at the same “I hopped off that bus,” said Marcus. “When with a drunk driver. time I am more capable than a lot of people I got there a beautiful, gorgeous boy walks up think,” Marcus tells us. “And --- Sayonara, The next few years were a haze for Marcus. and hugged my leg, because I was on my feet and drugs! Good riddance!” He is currently one He found methamphetamines to ease his pain. then he says, ‘'Dad?’ Oh my gosh I began crying His MS progressed and he lost his ability to walk. month sober! right away and I look up and I see her --- as He is currently using a wheelchair. glamorous as ever, and she smiled at me. We all Interview by NICKI VOGEL Written by ADDIE GLICK and JODI STIGERS
From INTERFAITH SANCTUARY STAFF and WORD ON THE STREET
T I AM STEPHIN PRESTWICH I AM STRONG I AM CONFIDENT I AM COURAGOUS
his issue is dedicated to all of the talented, generous, caring and compassionate individuals and groups who have volunteered here at Interfaith sanctuary in the last year. Your service continues to inspired us, uplifted us and bring us hope.
The Davis Family:
he Davis Family has been volunteering for a while now and give us a ton of support. They consistently go out of their way to best serve our guests and help staff wherever they are needed. They normally serve dinner, check guests in and hand out toiletries but are willing to help wherever needed. We are extremely lucky to have this wonderful family volunteering at the shelter.
I AM SELFLESS I AM HARD WORKING I AM GOOD HEARTED I AM STRIVING FOR GOOD I AM NOT ALONE I AM NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM YOU
rooke organized a group of caring and compassionate individuals to donate food for daytime programs at Interfaith Sanctuary. Members of Project Well-being and Project Recovery appreciate our bellies full and our bodies nourished. Your food donations have given us a better-quality diet than what we would have had otherwise. We value your generous donation greatly.
rene volunteered at Interfaith Sanctuary late last summer to fulfill her social work service-learning curriculum at BSU. She hopes to continue her volunteer work here in the future. When talking about the homeless community she says, “You can always smile,” and that “I share a lot of life lessons that they have.” When Irene first volunteered at the shelter, she believed that, “they wouldn’t accept me or want to get to know me.” After getting to know her I found out that she is a creative and kind person who is willing to listen. Irene likes to write on her spare time to which she loves the idea of Word on the Street. Thank you, Irene, for your service, kindness and your willingness to listen.
n occasion Thane Eddington has been volunteering at Interfaith Sanctuary in the evenings. We appreciate him for offering us help, serving our food, giving us his time and extending to us a listening ear. He feels that working at Interfaith has helped him overcome his social anxiety. He says, “I want more connections and relationships. I was tired of sitting at home alone.” He says that the homeless, “all matter greatly,” and for that we thank him greatly for his service, because it greatly matters to us.
Christy and Grace Little:
race Little, a child volunteer who comes with a huge heart, and her mom Christy provide monthly birthday parties for kids who stay at the shelter. They make sure that the kids receive a gift and get the birthday experience that all kids should have. Grace sells lemonade and cupcakes to raise money for these awesome birthday parties. We are sure that the children who stay at the shelter appreciate her for what she does. Thank you so much for your huge and kind heat Grace Little!
Shepherds of the Valley:
hepherds of the Valley are a dedicated group of volunteers that give their time, smiles, and hearts consistently to our shelter and our guests. They serve dinner with warmth and compassion as they always take the time to ensure the bread is buttered, so that it is more than just a shelter meal, but more of an at home family dinner. The men and women who come always light up the room and treat our guests with compassion and love. Thank you, Shepherds of the Valley!
omadic Critters are a non-profit organization that offers free care for homeless pets. They visit Interfaith Sanctuary once a month and provide pet wellness visits and follow -ups. We appreciate the care that they offer our cats and our dogs. We value their time and willingness that they offer to the homeless.
Shari Tisch: Real Estate Appraisal & Consulting
in SW and Central Idaho Supports the Efforts of Interfaith Sanctuary for the Homeless Jody L. Graham, Appraiser/Owner email@example.com 208-859-4405
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hari Tisch moved to Boise 2 ½ years ago, and soon after longtime Sanctuary volunteer Rick Groff asked her to consider cooking dinner for our guests. She rolled up her apron and brought together a team of cooks and servers from her church Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship which is also known as The Grub Club. Thus, began the Sunday Suppers at Interfaith Sanctuary. Now, twice a month this group feeds sanctuary guests what Shari calls a “grandma style Sunday supper.” She has forged community partnerships, made food by standing on the side of love and continues to honor the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Shari will be leaving Boise for Spokane in early January 2020. We are sure she’ll make a difference with her passion for social justice, her infectious laugh and smile and her ability to never give up. Thank you, Shari!!
ammy Hawthorne has been volunteering with the preschool for several months. She does 2 days a week. She stepped up to the plate and increased her hours during our search for a fulltime preschool teacher. She is incredibly kind, patient and generous towards our guests. The parents and kids light up every time she comes to volunteer.
is Way” brings a group of talented individuals with autism and Down’s Syndrome to clean the shelter. They do a remarkable job, with diligence and excellence, as they perform a great act of service. Their willingness to come to the shelter and serve has made us feel grateful and have warmed our hearts, because of that we greatly appreciate every one of them from the bottom of our hearts.
Interfaith Sanctuary Celebrating the Holidays With the Elf on the Shelf
By JODI STIGERS
linton Marshall loves flowers and Clinton loves his wife. When his wife was alive he used to bring her a bouquet of flowers every day. Clinton’s wife passed away last year, and he is having a very hard time living without her love. Grief is not a kind companion. Clinton has reached out for help and is now participating in Project Recovery at Interfaith Sanctuary. He is working on his sobriety and learning how to open up about his feelings. This holiday season has not been an easy one for him. Triggers are everywhere. During the warmer months Clinton would find some beautiful flowers out in nature and bring them back to the shelter, arrange them in a vase, and this seemed to help brighten him and our shelter space up. When the cold kicked in and the flowers went away, Clinton really began struggling. We reached out to our friends at Edward’s Greenhouse & Florist and shared the story of Clinton with them. We wanted to see if they might have some ideas about how to connect Clinton with
flowers to help him through the holidays. They said they would think about it and get back to us. Last week a bulk of flowers was delivered to Interfaith Sanctuary for Clinton from Edwards Greenhouse. They sent along greenery and vases with a note explaining that every two weeks they would be delivering Clinton flowers to create flower arrangement for our Shelter. When Clinton saw the flowers and the note the biggest smile came onto the dear sweet man’s face. He got right to work creating beautiful holiday arrangements that he placed throughout the shelter. Clinton now has a little sparkle in his eyes and seems to have found his holiday spirit helping to deck the halls with holiday lights and reaching out to guests to share his good cheer. Thank you, Edward’s, for delivering the Spirit of Christmas right to our shelter door. We hope that everyone has a chance to find a little love and a piece of joy this holiday season!
The Awesome Foundation is Awesome!
By JACOB HIETER
was introduced to the Awesome Foundation by Janet Kaufman, who volunteers at Interfaith Sanctuary, and suggested that I apply
for their grant to help fund this paper, Word on the Street. Her belief that this project had great potential to receive the funding from the grant inspired me to apply. The grant took quite a while to write and apply for, because it was a little stressful and a little scary. In the end, it was worth it. Janet’s continuing support and encouragement gave me the hope and faith that I would be awarded the funds. Her kindness and support sure helped out a bunch. The Awesome Foundation awards individuals, or groups, a thousand dollars to fund a creative and impactful project. The Awesome Foundation is a global organization. Chapters have different areas of interest that they fund, such as arts, technology and community development. The chapter that selected Word on the Street focuses on homelessness and selected us from many domestic and international applicants.
On November 27th, Word on the Street was generously awarded the grant. It was a surprise and a blessing. Now we will have better publishing tools and knowledge to strengthen the newspaper and its impact. Thank you, Janet, for connecting us with a stronger avenue of support; and thank you to the Awesome Foundation, for giving us a greater opportunity and inspire us to reach higher. You have given our team a greater ability to be creative ambassadors with Word on the Street.
Boise Area Public
City of Boise Public Libraries
we were not invisible to people sometimes. People avoid us. They are not looking at us, but instead when they see us from afar, they start playing with their hair, or start looking at their phones. If they have nothing to give, that's fine, but just a smile or to be recognized as a human being would be better than anything.”
Main Library! 715 S. Capitol Blvd Boise, ID 83702 (208) 972-8200
Library! at Collister 4724 W State St Boise, ID 83703 (208) 972-8320
Library! at Cole and Ustick 7557 W Ustick Rd. Boise, ID 83704
Geoffrey at Interfaith Sanctuary
Geoffrey holds onto a special painting that he made for a little girl. While he was out holding his sign, she came up with two dollars in change and told him that it was all she had to give. Geoffrey told the little girl, and her mother to come back, and he will have a special painting for her. He never saw the girl again, but he is hanging on to that painting. This type of kindness is what stands out the most to Geoffrey. He said
Interview by NICKI VOGEL Library! at Hillcrest 5246 W Overland Rd Boise, ID 83705 (208) 972-8340
Library! at Bown Crossing 2153 E. Riverwalk Dr.
Boise, ID 83706 (208) 972-8360
Garden City Public Libraries Garden City Library 6015 N. Glenwood St Garden City, ID 83714 (208) 472-2940
Ada County Public Libraries Victory Branch 10664 W Victory Rd. Boise, ID 83709 (208) 362-0181
Lake Hazel Branch 10489 W Lake Hazel Rd Boise, ID 83709
eoffrey comes from Baton Rouge Louisiana where he was surrounded by the art scene. He said, “In Jackson Square New Orleans there was an art market that showcased art from all walks of life, and there was no stigma when you went to that market. The community came together for the love of people and the arts.” He wants to see this happen in Boise. Geoffrey wants to showcase all of the talented people within the homeless community by starting an art collective. Geoffrey started to panhandle after losing his job, when he noticed that the Dollar Tree was selling canvases.. He decided to pick art back up. He would go to his corner and start painting. Geoffrey stated, “I wasn’t invisible anymore. People started noticing me and asking me my name. They noticed my art. The community was so supportive and people started bringing me art supplies to my corner. It started to erase the stigma for me. I thought if art, it’s erasing the stigma for me, why can’t it erase the stigma for others through an art collective?” The main goal for Geoffrey in starting this art collective is to, “bring back something to our community that is worth talking about throughout the whole city.” When I asked Geoffrey what he wants people to know about the homeless community He said, “We are not scumbags, some hold signs because they need food to eat. I see disabled veterans out here and God I feel for them. I wish
Other Boise Libraries Family Christian Library 3852 N Eagle Rd.
Boise, ID 83713 (208) 327-0608
Albertsons Library Boise State University 1865 W Cesar Chavez Ln.
“It changes the way I think. It makes my day.” Geoffrey is a part of Project Recovery at Interfaith Sanctuary, where he continues to find meaning and purpose through his art and his recovery. Geoffrey is working on a few new pieces that will be sold at the Holiday Xtreme Xtrava-
What is Word on the Street?
ord on the Street is a collection of personal narratives, artwork, and poetry. It addresses the stigma of homelessness in and its material consequences for the population, such as accessing a photo ID. Word on the Street represents the voices of Boise’s homeless community as a counter narrative against misrepresentations of themselves and a call for connection. Its purpose is to bring awareness to the voices of homeless individuals and hope for motivating others through change. This paper is compiled and maintained by Project Well-being, a day program, at Interfaith
Sanctuary. The layout is created and maintained by Jacob Hieter. If you have a story about how homelessness, mental health and lack of resources affect you, please feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to include them in our paper. If you would like to help the homeless, or fund this paper, please feel free to contact us. We would love your support and your stories. Building a better community would benefit us all. This paper is published through the Idaho Press-Tribune and underwritten by Gem State Dermatology.