“People say, ‘What is the sense of our small effort?’ They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.” – Dorothy Day


Boise Catholic Worker was founded in 1998. It all began as a simple effort to make life easier for Boise’s homeless day job workers. Catholic Workers opened the local soup kitchen at 5:00 AM and provided coffee, juice, hard boiled eggs and donuts. We also made sandwiches for those going to work that day.

From this simple ministry of hospitality a day center and two houses of hospitality were eventually opened. The day center Corpus Christi House has become an ecumenical effort where Catholic Workers continue to do works of mercy with other faith based groups.

The two Catholic Worker houses of hospitality are Dorothy Day Place for women and Thomas Merton House for men. Both have been in existence since March 2005 and provide transitional housing to chronically homeless individuals.

Our main focus has been to provide safe hospitable housing for those who are mentally ill and/or suffering from addictions and seeking treatment. We believe that the majority of those living on the streets of are suffering from mental illness and/or addictions. We believe homeless mentally ill and addicted are those most shunned by Boise’s urban society and they are hidden from sight within the concrete nooks and crannies of the city. They are often banned from local shelters and cannot even camp along the river without being ticketed. This forces them to walk the streets sometimes all night or to find an alley, dumpster, or some hidden place where they can sleep. This suffering prevents them from securing permanent shelter and meeting their basic survival needs. Some have died in the winter from freezing. Boise’s chronically homeless mentally ill and addicted are the suffering Christ whom we Catholic Workers seek to serve in our houses of hospitality.

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