MISSOULA – On Friday, the Missoula City Council approved an interim zoning ordinance that would allow the Salvation Army on Russell Street to serve as a winter warming center for the homeless.
The temporary ordinance will last until April 1.
The need for a warming shelter came about when the Union Gospel Mission said they would be unable to provide shelter this year because their facility was not up to the Missoula’s fire code.
During the public hearing portion, multiple people spoke out in support of the interim zoning ordinance, which included employees from the Poverello Center and the Union Gospel Mission.
The Salvation Army is attempting to take over that role and city council is thankful for both organizations in there attempt to shelter the homeless here in Missoula.
“The location is now changing and the entity that will be running it, but I wanted to say thank you to the Union Gospel Mission for the service that they have provided in the past. We are very grateful for that,” said Missoula City Councilwoman Gwen Jones. “That’s my theme word for today: grateful. And I also wanted to say thank you to the salvation army for stepping up and providing the solution.”
The vote was a unanimous 7 in favor of the ordinance. If city council chooses to extend the interim ordinance they would need a super majority of 8.
Before the Salvation Army can open it’s doors as Missoula’s newest warming shelter, they will need to raise another $25,000. If you would like to help them reach their goal you can drop off money at the Salvation Army’s office. Make sure to designate that the money is for the purpose of funding the warming center somewhere with the donation.
Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News