I called your organization a couple weeks ago about my daughter and her friend that had come to Sandpoint for the Ski season and had fallen on some hard times, as could not find any temporary housing. I was told your city does not have a “couples shelter” and although you were not a temporary shelter, my daughter could fill out an application for housing, but you had a waiting list. Her friend a male, could check at the Bonner Gospel Mission, but would have to become employed. I was appalled. My daughter and her friend are not homeless individuals, they just needed affordable shelter until ski season opens and they will find housing with other employees. They ended up coming home, and will spend the ski season here in Utah. I was just dumbfounded that a town would not assist in some way, a young couple causing no one harm.
Jennifer Dawes, Park City, Utah
I’m sorry your daughter and friend were not able to stay in the Sandpoint area, but maybe a lesson for the future, with planning ahead. We do not have temporary shelters in our area for visitors. We do not even have temporary shelters for those that are truly homeless. Bonner Homeless Transitions is .not a temporary shelter, but a transition program where single women share a communal area and families have their own apartments. We receive no federal or state funding and the community is a huge source of donations for us, with the understanding that we will serve clients that are homeless and from Bonner and Boundary Counties. I didn’t understand if the couple came to Sandpoint for employment at Schweitzer, or were planning on employment elsewhere? They can apply on line for Schweitzer, and maybe talk with them about a shared housing opportunity with other employees if they return. Sandpoint housing is
not conducive to temporary situations without a big price tag. Also, Bonner Homeless Transitions normally does not serve people that are in our area on vacation or not part of the community. I can’t answer for the mission, but hopefully someday your daughter and friend will be back to enjoy Schweitzer.
I am a student at Sandpoint High School and I am writing a paper on homelessness in our area, and wondered if I could interview any of the children or adults living at Blue Haven?
Traci, Sandpoint, ID
Thanks for the question Traci, and your interest in the homeless population in our area. Confidentiality is big part of our program, so I would have to talk to each person to see if they would be willing to talk with you. I do have teenagers that in no way want to acknowledge to anyone that they are living at the “Homeless Center” Why don’t you get in touch with me at the office phone, #208-265-2952 and in the meantime I will talk with a few clients to see how they feel about talking to you.
I’m happy to be able to reach someone about donations! I’ve called a couple times about bringing things to you on a Saturday, but no one was in the office. Just wondered if you had specific needs, and if there were items you did not take. Thanks so much, and keep up the good work.
Susie Groves, Hope, ID
I’m sorry no one was in the office to answer your call Susie, but the office is open Monday through Friday only. We do have a maintenance person here on Saturday but he is not usually in the office.
If you do feel comfortable leaving donations on the covered back porch before 5 p.m. on a Saturday, or any other day of the week when I have stepped out of the office, we will see them and put them inside. We are so extremely grateful to the community for all the donations we receive weekly.
I had a lady in yesterday that saw a great sale on canned goods so purchased 3 cases of vegetables and soups and brought them to us! We will take anything except, king and queen beds. We will accept food, furniture, clothing, toys, books, bedding, and the list goes on. We have had people call about donations of larger pieces of furniture or appliances, but unless it can fit in a suburban, and available on a Friday or Saturday when we have the personnel here to pick up, we can’t accept it. Currently specific items needed are food items that are canned or boxed ( mac and cheese) are always needed, and we need 3 girl size 24 months snow suits. Always welcomed are Walmart cards, gas cards etc..We also need two clean twin beds. Again, we are so grateful to our community for any and all donations. You can call me Susie if you need to drop something off on a Saturday only and I will make some arrangements to make sure we get it! 208-265-2952
Joanne Barlow is program manager for Bonner Homeless Transitions/Blue Haven. She can be reached at 208-265-2952