POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Pocatello Aid for Friends says it has received a $50,000 donation from the Latter-day Saint Charities Humanitarian Services North America.
The funds will help the nonprofit agency expand its homeless shelter at 209 E. Lewis Street, according to Aid for Friends Executive Director BJ Stensland.
"Our local Bishops and leaders know firsthand what a critical role Aid for Friends serves in our community. For far too many people this facility is their absolute last resort and we are so grateful for the Christlike service BJ and her staff provide to such vulnerable members of our city," Pocatello East Stake President Tom Bates said. "I'm personally grateful that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has the ability to give such a generous donation without using tithing funds. This expansion will be a wonderful blessing to countless many and we are humbled to be a part of it."
Aid for Friends is the only emergency shelter in Pocatello that serves women, men, and families in the Pocatello area. On many nights, Stensland said the facility operates at 114% capacity. The addition will include a dining area, laundry facilities, and space for education and workforce development opportunities. The new shelter is expected to serve almost 1,000 people each year.
"The reality is that every community experiences homelessness. There are people that are unable to be in a safe place. This new shelter is something that came together based on our community, supported by our community," Stensland said. "All the different entities that have supported us are necessary. We just couldn't do this by ourselves and without this kind of support."
Aid for Friends has raised $2 million in its fundraising effort but still needs an estimated $200,000 more to fully renovate its new space.
Previous donors and partners include Bannock County, Citizens Community Bank, City of Chubbuck, City of Pocatello, Housing Alliance and Community Partnerships, Idaho Central Credit Union, Idaho Housing and Finance Association, Latter-day Saint Charities, Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, ON Semiconductor, Pleasant Valley Investments, United Way of Southeastern Idaho and Wells Fargo
You can learn more about the Aid for Friends project here.