Mayor McLean Announces Shelter Better Task Force

July 6, 2021

A few weeks ago, I announced that in partnership with Our Path Home we will convene a Shelter Better Task Force to explore options for doing shelter better and to create a solution that’s right for our city. Today I’m naming the community members who have agreed to meet the charge of creating a data-informed shelter solution for our most vulnerable residents.

The Shelter Better Task Force will be facilitated by Dr. Jen Schneider, an experienced facilitator who will design, plan and lead the task force meetings. The Task Force will meet weekly for eight weeks at City Hall beginning the week of July 12. Meetings will run approximately 90-minutes and will be held during business hours.

Task Force members include:

  • Chair: Courtney Washburn (non-voting member)
  • Boise City Council: President Elaine Clegg (non-voting member)
  • Interfaith Sanctuary: Jodi Peterson and Andy Scoggin
  • Our Path Home Executive Committee: Stephanie Day and Bea Black
  • Hospital systems/Health Clinics: Jen Palagi and Dr. Penny Beach
  • Outreach: Street Outreach Team: Jeannette Curtis
  • Neighborhood Association Presidents:
    • Veterans Memorial Park – Katy Decker
    • Collister – Neighborhood Leader
    • Sunset – Tom Helmer
  • Neighborhood Leaders:
    • Jennifer Godoi
    • Annie McCutcheon
  • Lived Experience/Expertise:
    • Serena Hinojosa
    • Joe Hernandez + Tammy Keagy
  • Faith Leaders: Padre Jesús Camacho and Sara LaWall
  • Business Leader: Charity Nelson

I am grateful to each of the members for their commitment to this work and to serving our most vulnerable residents. I know that together we will find a Boise solution that uplifts everyone in our community.

More information on the Task Force and its purpose:

The overarching goal of the group will be to produce a recommendation for doing shelter better in our city to guide how we approach emergency shelters, where emergency shelters are located, the services they provide and the crisis management they are responsible for in Boise. Together the members will:

  • Use data to better understand the issue of homelessness in our community.
  • Review the shelter needs analysis.
  • Establish a framework to collectively evaluate potential solutions in line with best practices.
  • Use that framework to review proposals and develop a comprehensive recommendation for better shelter.

Task Force meetings will be open to the community. To preserve the integrity of the meetings and to ensure that members are able to have productive, open conversations and ultimately develop a Shelter Better Task Force: Final Recommendation Report, residents and media who are not members of the task force will be invited to observe the meetings virtually. A Zoom link will be available ahead of the first meeting. Questions should be sent to the Task Force Chair.

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