MISSOULA, Mont. - Local homeless shelters are at max capacity, that’s why one temporary shelter might be staying open longer.

Staff from the Temporary Safe Outdoor Safe Space (TSOS) held a community forum on Tuesday, to talk about the possible extension.
 
The TSOS has supported a total of 53 residents, helped seven residents find housing and four others have received housing approval. 
 
After opening in December, its initial goal was to help those pushed out of shelters due to capacity limits.
 
The shelter is run by Hope Rescue Mission, United Way of Missoula and supported by Missoula County Commissioners.
 
Executive Director of Hope Rescue Mission Jim Hicks says they help people get back on their feet. 
 
"That's the whole purpose of this, not to have another encampment necessarily, but an encampment that will help people move forward," Hicks said.
 
Nearly a dozen residents of the shelter have found or are working towards finding a home. Six people got or are close to getting IDs, and one person has been accepted to the University of Montana.
 
On top of that, four residents got jobs, including Fredrick.
 
"Because of this place I was able to find a good job, and you know, things are looking up. They give me a helping hand with some things I need in the community as far as work clothes, shoes and stuff like that," Fredrick said.
 
However, the owner of the Silver Slipper near the shelter, Noah Castle, said it's only caused problems for his business. 

"I'm cleaning up our parking lot, I'm kicking people out of our establishments. My employees are not happy to come to work anymore. We have a logbook, an incident logbook that we never had before," Castle said. "Every single day I have to put something in that logbook. So, tell me how successful that is," Castle said.
 
TSOS staff said they're working to address everyone's concerns and not all situations are related to the shelter.
 
Another TSOS resident, Reggie, said he hasn't had those who are complaining about the shelter visit them to see what it's really like.
 
"I lost my kids because of homeless; I'm now getting my kids back as soon as we get a house. I would have never been able to get a house fast and work and been able to utilize all these programs if it weren't for their staff out here," Reggie said.
 
The extension is still being discussed and they're looking to fund continued operations through the American Rescue Plan Act.
 
TSOS staff made it clear they are listening to everyone's comments and concerns, and they want to help address them.

You can call their 24-hour number at (406) 802-4309 if you have comments or concerns.

News For You