Missoula’s Poverello Center and the Johnson Street Shelter are the two primary places where homeless individuals can find food and shelter during the winter.

KGVO News reached out to Jesse Jeager, Director of Development and Advocacy for the Poverello Center for an update on the two facilities as the weather takes a turn for the worse this week.

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“The main facility (The Poverello Center) at 1110 West Broadway is still operating under a reduced capacity of about 88 individuals being able to seek shelter at that facility,” said Jeager. “That facility is generally full every night. We do have capacity over at the Johnson Street emergency winter shelter for up to 150 individuals. The last few days it's been warmer so it's been down to 80 to 90 individuals seeking shelter there. My expectation as it gets colder we'll see a lot more people accessing shelter at the Johnson street facility as we move forward.”

Jeager described how those housed in the shelters receive their meals.

“We prepare all our food at the main soup kitchen at 1110 West Broadway and then in the evening we bring over a meal that comes over to the Johnson street facility usually served around five o'clock and then we also have sack lunches and some other pre prepared meals available at the Johnson street facility during the rest of the day,” he said. “That's the Poverello Center’s soup kitchen that is also open for breakfast, and then a hot lunch and hot dinner. People who are staying at the Johnson Street facility are welcome to our come over to the Broadway location and get food there as well.”

Jeager said he is hoping that the facilities won’t be so crowded that people have to be turned away.

“We're going to try to do our best to bring in as many people as possible,” he said. “We never reached capacity last year when we hit a severe cold snap, so our hope is that we won't hit capacity again this year, but unfortunately, we will have to turn people away. And that's just the reality of the lack of shelter spaces in Missoula and having to balance it with keeping people safe from COVID as well.”

 

Jeager did not comment on the security at the Johnson Street facility due to the fact that security is privately funded by the City of Missoula.

Anyone who wishes to donate funds or items to the Poverello Center can get more information here.

 

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