Emergency Winter Shelter

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Emergency Winter Shelter

The City of Missoula, Missoula County and the Poverello Center are working together to provide an expanded emergency winter shelter program. The Johnson Street Community Center will be a new, temporary 24/7 shelter for this season. The Poverello Center’s trained, professional staff will operate the shelter from Nov. 1 through next March 31. At its location at 1919 North Ave. W., it will serve one hot meal every day, with sack lunches available throughout the day. It will be staffed every day around the clock.

Clients can stay at the Johnson Street shelter through daytime hours or

Emergency Winter Shelter

The City of Missoula, Missoula County and the Poverello Center are working together to provide an expanded emergency winter shelter program. The Johnson Street Community Center will be a new, temporary 24/7 shelter for this season. The Poverello Center’s trained, professional staff will operate the shelter from Nov. 1 through next March 31. At its location at 1919 North Ave. W., it will serve one hot meal every day, with sack lunches available throughout the day. It will be staffed every day around the clock.

Clients can stay at the Johnson Street shelter through daytime hours or access daytime services at the Poverello Center. This means that people using the shelter have a safe, warm place to stay during days and nights. The staff will do all they can to make the shelter a good neighbor.

Community Needs

The Missoula County commissioners, Missoula’s mayor and members of the Missoula City Council have heard from community members who feel it’s everyone’s responsibility to help those in need during our cold winters. And they agree. For the past two winters, City and County leaders have supported an emergency winter shelter program operated by the Poverello Center at its facility on West Broadway. It has operated in conjunction with a satellite shelter at the Salvation Army on Russell Street.

Additional Challenges

With COVID-19 social distancing protocols in place, these spaces will not sleep enough people to fill the need. COVID-19 has created challenges for all of us. While as a community we are doing our best to adapt, some of our neighbors are more at risk as we approach winter. We all need to have safe and warm places. Now, Missoula faces a short supply of shelter and essentially no rental vacancies.

With COVID restrictions, the Poverello Center sleeps 88 people. The Johnson Street shelter will have the capacity to provide overnight shelter for 150. Beginning Nov. 1, the Poverello will move to its low-barrier policy at its West Broadway shelter. That allows people to stay based on their behaviors, not on a sobriety measure. The Poverello Center has more than 40 years of experience serving individuals experiencing homelessness, including those experiencing chronic homelessness with complex barriers to stable housing.

Funding

The program is operated by the Poverello Center by contract with the City. It is financed through CDBG-CV Funds (federal Community Development Block Grant entitlement funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development specifically to support COVID-19 mitigation) in the amount of $339,947 and $50,000 each from the City and County. These are one-time-only funds for this season only in response to the pandemic.

  • City Extends Emergency Winter Shelter through April

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    10 Mar 2021

    The City of Missoula’s Emergency Winter Shelter, operating at the Johnson Street Community Center because of COVID-19 conditions, will extend operation through April 30. The shelter will be open 8:00pm - 8:00am starting April 1 - April 30. The extension is made possible by funding offered by the Human Resource Council based in Missoula.

    Staff from the Poverello Center, which is operating the shelter as the City’s contractor this winter, made the decision in view of the continuing pandemic. Infectious disease control measures have kept the Poverello Center homeless shelter on West Broadway operating at half-capacity. The extension will allow more time for shelter clients to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations and more time for staff to work with clients on their next steps.

    This winter, the shelter has slept about 120 people per night and has served 450 individuals. During this time, the West Broadway Poverello Center has operated near capacity nightly.

    You can watch a presentation by Poverello Center and City staff to learn more.

  • Temporary Safe Outdoor Space

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    08 Dec 2020

    To provide another space for folks experiencing homelessness, a temporary safe outdoor space has been opened in Missoula County. Missoula’s Temporary Safe Outdoor Space is a safe, healthy, secure, staffed (24/7) environment on private land that will serve – with dignity – approximately 40 people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic who are not accessing existing services or resources. A goal of Missoula TSOS is to offer people experiencing homelessness a safe space during the pandemic and link them to appropriate, sustainable housing. It is slated to open in early December. You can learn more at the Missoula County website here.

  • Supporting Agencies

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    20 Oct 2020


    The Emergency Winter Shelter program has been developed by an Emergency Winter Shelter committee of the Homelessness COAD Task Force. COAD stands for Community Organizations Active in Disaster, community-based coalitions that work in conjunction with the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management. The committee is made up of representatives of these agencies:

    • Missoula Emergency Services, Inc.
    • Poverello Center, Inc.
    • City of Missoula, including the Missoula Police Department and Missoula Fire Department
    • Open Aid Alliance
    • Hope Rescue Mission
    • Providence St. Patrick Hospital
    • Winds of Change Mental Health Center
    • Missoula County
    • Human Resource Council
    • Missoula City-County Health Department

    You can learn more about what we're doing to address homelessness in Missoula's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.