Hotel Houses Homeless Amid Coronavirus Outbreak


Idaho's Riverside Hotel, in partnership with Boise's Interfaith Sanctuary, is helping provide rooms where social distancing can be impossibility at many shelters.

(KTVB/NBC News)  An Idaho hotel has opened its doors to the homeless in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Interfaith Sanctuary, a Boise-based homeless shelter, partnered with the Riverside Hotel in Garden City to help families with children and those with medical issues.

“As you can imagine during this pandemic the hotel is pretty darn slow, no one is traveling, or commuting we don’t have any groups in house,” Kathy Pidgeon, the general manager of the Riverside Hotel, said, “and if you’re familiar with the Riverside Hotel you know that we’ve got separate wings in the hotel so it’s pretty easy for our hotel to find a place where Interfaith Sanctuary could just isolate their guests.”

The families have been staying at the Riverside Hotel since Thursday. Getting these families in need of a place to stay is something that has given Interfaith Sanctuary executive director Jodi Peterson-Stigers peace of mind.

“Our dorms are all open, so there are no walls to protect one person from another,” she said, “and having newborn babies and elderly who are already on oxygen, watching them come into our shelter  as this was all going on, it was kind of creating internal panic.”

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