Missoula Shelter won’t turn anyone away in cold weather

Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) – This week it was announced that due to the bitterly cold temperatures in Missoula this weekend, the Johnson Street Warming Shelter will be doing its best to provide a warm place to sleep for all those aged 18 and over.

KGVO News spoke to Stephanie Dolan, Director of Development at the Poverello Center, about the extra effort this cold snap brings.

The shelter will not turn anyone away during this cold snap

“We’ve been open since October 31,” Dolan began. “We have more customers this year than in previous years and now we are serving roughly double the capacity at this point compared to last year. I mean, it’s obviously a lot colder. But we’re almost full here. We use every usable, sleepable and suitable space so that people have a warm place to get away from the elements.”

Dolan said officials at the Poverello Center are at the Johnson Street Shelter to determine how to accommodate more people.

“We’re checking right now,” she said. “Our general manager is here with our shelter manager and they are trying to figure out where we can place more people. We were certainly thankful that we didn’t have to turn anyone away. We have room for everyone who comes. But as I said, we use every suitable and sleepable place and just try to find more places where we can put people.”

They offer one hot meal a day, packed lunches, hot coffee and cocoa

Dolan described some of the services available at the Johnson Street Shelter.

“At the Johnson Street Shelter we serve a hot meal daily,” she said. “We also have breakfast coffee and hot water for people at all times. We try to serve packed lunches and any other type of food we can provide. As you know, when there is inflation, the cost of food is high. It’s really challenging for us to minister to as many people as we are, so we could definitely use any help anyone could give us at this point.”

Dolan wants the public to know that the shelter has many immediate needs to help the homeless in Missoula.

They urgently need blankets, towels, coats and gloves

“What we’re really looking for are blankets, sheets and towels,” she said. “If anyone wants to donate a blanket we’re very grateful, but what really helps is a blanket that fits in the washing machine and tumble dry quickly. Quilts are great, but we have a few washing machines here that run literally 24/7 and blankets take a long time to dry, so any type of blanket that dries quickly would be useful. We need coats, boots, hand warmers and gloves, but we desperately need hand warmers and gloves.”

Anyone wishing to donate money can visit the Poverello Center’s website, and those wishing to donate blankets and clothing can take them directly to the Johnson Street Warming Shelter at 1914 North Avenue West.

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