Future uncertain for Helena homeless camp

Oro Fino Gulch homeless camp
Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 20, 2023

HELENA — With winter approaching and freezing temperatures in the forecast next week, one homeless camp just outside of Helena city limits is facing a crossroads.

The camp off of Oro Fino Gulch Road was started by Paul Montee—better known as Rad—as a drug-free, safe place for people to live until they could find more permanent housing. According to Rad, about 25 people currently live in the camp, but he said he thinks more than 100 people have lived in the camp for a stretch before moving on.

After months in the same area, the camp and its residents may now be forced to leave, but Rad said this has happened before.

According to Rad, the camp has been given permission to be in their current location on private land, but there are now questions about liability. MTN has been told the camp has until Wednesday to vacate the area. What will happen, and where the camp’s residents will go is still unknown, but no matter what happens, Rad said he’s proud of his community.

We got our respect, and we got our dignity, and we can walk out of here with our heads held high,” Rad said. “Each and every one of these people, these lost souls, they know how special this is.”

Community service providers have been in the camp connecting residents with resources and signing them up for housing lists, but those waiting lists can be long.

Rad said he is hoping for more time to figure out next steps.