MISSOULA – Starting Friday, warming shelters across the city will have extended hours of operation so that another can close.
The Mountain Line Transit Center at Ryman and West Pine streets will no longer be available as a warming shelter. Instead, the Poverello Center will extend their hours to begin at 7 a.m. and the Salvation Army will begin their warming shelter operations at 9:30 p.m.
While the transit station itself will not be open, bus number 2 will still be operating with service to the Poverello Center.
City officials say that the change in hours is a good fix for now, but that to really fix the problem the community needs to try and develop long-term housing for the homeless population.
“We will continue to address the emergent needs of people in the community today living on the streets. We also know that shelters and warming centers are not a solution to homelessness, and so our priority to is to continue working on a longer term plan to provide housing to individuals living on the streets, which is really the only solution to homelessness,” said Missoula’s Office of Housing and Community Development Director Eran Pehan.
Funding for the extended hours comes from the office of housing and community development who contributed $8,000 to keep the warming shelters open.
Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News