GREAT FALLS – In 2018, the Downtown Safety Alliance collected $485.22 through their Coins for a Cause campaign.
Coins for a Cause is an alternative to panhandling with containers set up in various locations downtown. The money raised is donated by the Downtown Safety Alliance to organizations that combat homelessness in Great Falls.
This year’s recipient: Family Promise of Great Falls.
“It will go a long way in helping us in childhood homelessness one family at a time,” Family Promise executive director D.J. Lott said.
Family Promise is a nonprofit that Lott describes as a nontraditional, non-emergency shelter.
“In the four years we’ve been in existence, we’ve helped over 385 people. 183 of them have been children. We know we are needed in Great Falls,” Lott said.
Lott said the shelter runs strictly on donations, fundraising and grants. The money they received will be used to feed families three meals a day, make sure children are in school or daycare, and other supplies.
“Until we address this as a community, affordable housing and the drug epidemic, we feel that there will always be a need in Great Falls,” Lotts said.
There are 13 host sites throughout the community. A family can stay at a site for 60 days, but Lott said last year’s average length of stay was 37 days.
Lott added that without organizations working together to combat homelessness, no one would be able to do the work they do.
“Everybody that has anything to do with homelessness gets together on a monthly basis. We share notes, we plan together. As a community, I think we are doing what we can to address homelessness in Great Falls,” Lott said.
Family Promise is always looking for volunteers and donations. If you are interested you can stop by their office located at 1019 Central Avenue or call their office at 406-866-0288. You can also find more information on their website or Facebook page.
Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News