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Boise homeless shelters extend hours as bitter cold looms

The Interfaith Sanctuary is opening earlier to shelter the homeless as the bitter cold approaches. And the Corpus Christi day shelter will remain open longer. (KBOI Photo)

With the frigid cold approaching, the Interfaith Sanctuary will open earlier and the Corpus Christi day shelter will stay open later so people won't have to wait outside in the cold.

"Normally we open up at 6 p.m.," said Sanctuary co-director Jodi Peterson. "But the staff is getting ready so when Corpus closes at 5 p.m., our guests can immediately come inside the shelter. They don't have to wait outside. Before they had to wait about an hour and it's just too cold."

Corpus Christi will stay open an extra half hour to be in sync with the Sanctuary.

And the day shelter will also remain open from noon to one, when it usually closes for cleaning.

The shelters say it's critical people have a place to get away from the cold.

"Oh, it means everything," said Corpus facilities manager Mary Dee Gutierrez. "It means lifesaving, so they don't freeze to death."

Corpus, which opens at 7 a.m., is seeing as many as 120 people show up each day. And the Interfaith Sanctuary is at its capacity of 164 and will squeeze in as many more as they can without violating the fire code.

The Boise Rescue Mission also has beds available.

And the city-run Pioneer Community Center offers shelter and activities for preschoolers and their families from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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