MTPR

Homelessness

PD.

Friday is the winter solstice, marking the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. In communities across Montana, there’s also a tradition of honoring homeless persons who have died on the solstice.

Mara Hanks

A nonprofit in Kalispell is trying to get a hundred people to sleep outside Saturday to raise money and awareness about youth homelessness.

United Way of Missoula County CEO, Susan Hay Patrick.
Edward O'Brien

Dozens of homeless Missoulians are now pre-qualified for a federal rental assistance program. The problem is, there’s a dearth of available rentals in Missoula’s red-hot housing market.

Single mom Julie Barrett and her three kids were very familiar with the problem. They were homeless for over a year. That changed in December after Barrett enrolled her family in what’s called a Shelter Plus Care rental voucher. That decision landed the Barrett’s a new rental home this past December.

theHRDC.org / theHRDC.org

In recent years, Montana’s fastest-growing city, Bozeman, has also seen a rise in the number of people who are homeless. Expensive housing and stagnant wages may be to blame.

Some of the coldest temperatures of this already bitterly cold week are forecast over the next 12 to 24 hours. Homeless shelters are trying to help Montana’s most vulnerable during this weather emergency.

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