BUTTE – The Butte Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter has a projected opening date of October 3rd but due to setbacks will most likely not open until at least a few weeks later.
Rescue Mission Executive Director, Rocky Lyons, said the shelter will be located on property near Arizona St. and E. Platinum. Lyons said there is still a lot of work to be done before the shelter will be ready for use including extending the main sewer line, putting in utilities, and delivering the 11 housing pods to the site.
“Anxious is an understatement,” said Lyons. “I have come to the realization that I am comfortable with it will happen when it happens. I mean we work every day, I work every day towards pushing this thing through.”
Before the Rescue Mission can start the underground construction, a building permit must be issued by the city. Lyons said they hope to receive the permit sometime next week but because of the delay the shelter opening will most likely be pushed back at least a couple of weeks.
CEO of Action Inc, Margie Seccomb said over the years the non-profit organization she works for has shifted from transitional housing towards rapid rehousing. She said it is important that Butte focuses on finding those who are homeless a permanent home instead of a temporary solution.
Lyons recognized there is data showing rapid rehousing is successful but believes this method won’t work for everyone.
“If they are chronically homeless or have been homeless for a while, transformation needs to take place. They need to be taught some organizational skills, some budgeting skills, some life skills, basic life skills to be able to sustain that housing,” said Lyons.
She also added that the shelter will have a new low barrier unit on the west end of the property to house people who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol. As long they are not an imminent threat to anyone at the shelter they will not be turned away.
“There is a real need for that so that they can seek shelter and then they can seek the programs that are available for them to seek permanent housing,” said Lyons.
Lyon said she becomes more and more anxious to open the shelter as the morning air becomes chiller each day.
Reporting by Mederios Babb for MTN News