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MDS volunteers create warmer, safer space for homeless in Idaho

December 8, 2020

Eight volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) helped Corpus Christi House, a hospitality day center for homeless people in Boise, Idaho, expand its services. Corpus Christi House helps more than 150 people each day, serving 90,000 meals annually.   

The MDS volunteers, spending four days on the job, relocated two storage sheds and removed a retaining wall in the patio area. This will allow more people waiting to access the inside of the building to gather in the courtyard and be sheltered from the weather, rather than on the sidewalk.

“During the COVID pandemic, the inside area of the building has only been available to less than ten persons at a time,” explained Rick Bollman, a member of the Advisory Board for Corpus Christi House.

“The work performed by the MDS volunteers has increased the open space for people who are waiting to utilize the inside space of the shelter,” he said.

“This will provide a safer, warmer space for our homeless guests,” added Bollman, who pitched in with the volunteers.

Robert Unrau, MDS Idaho project director, helped ensure the volunteers had adequate tools, and that they worked in a manner that met MDS’s COVID safety protocols.

“This included wearing a mask at all times, except when eating lunch; social distancing as much as possible; and restricting access to the site by the homeless and Corpus Christi House staff during times when volunteers were working,” he said.

The volunteers were all from the local Boise area. “We did keep track of the hours worked and the project took a total of 100 hours,” added Unrau.