MISSOULA, Mont. - A single mom in Western Montana is speaking out after she said she and her children are being kicked out of a local shelter, just as the temperatures start to drop.
Due to capacity problems at Missoula's YWCA Meadowlark, four families, including Jessica Waltz and her three kids, are being evicted.
Waltz says she has until Oct. 29 to raise money to stay in a hotel or find a rental place. But with Missoula's current housing crisis, finding a place that's affordable and big enough for her family, is nearly impossible.
She said she moved into the YWCA with her kids who are ten, nine and seven, after living in what she called a 'toxic environment.' She said when she moved into the family shelter, she was never given a move out date.
"We were actually told, as long as we were continuously working towards trying to find housing and bettering ourselves, we were essentially safe and didn't have to leave," Waltz said.
However, that changed recently when the YWCA told families who've lived in the shelter for more than 90 days that they have anywhere from two weeks to a month before they'll be evicted.
YWCA Executive Director Cindy Weese said a waitlist that continues to grow, left them with no choice.
"We cannot offer long-term shelter for families and still give every family who is homeless a chance to get back on their feet," Weese said.
The YWCA does offer a Rapid Rehousing Program, which provides financial support for families to pay rent. But the payment cap on that program doesn't line up with current rental prices in Missoula, leaving families like Waltz's on the verge of being homeless.
"There are families out there that are working. They're trying their hardest, and there's just not enough resources out there for us. The need is there, and I don't think people are seeing it," Waltz said.
Weese added that the rental market in Missoula isn't making things any easier and she hopes Missoula area property managers will consider lowering rent for families in need.