We team up with the Poverello Center each year to help spread the word about Pumpkins For The Pov and to bring awareness about Missoula's homeless population to the community. As we've been telling you, during the pandemic year we are delivering pumpkins for just 10 bucks each, you can order yours here.

Anyway, I thought I knew all there was to know about the Pov, but this morning I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Kristy Pszanowski on my Alt morning show, and she told me about the Homeless Outreach Team, HOT for short. It's a group of 5 Pov employees who go out into the community and check on our homeless population. They build trust with those who are struggling and keep in touch with them to try and ensure that they are getting food and proper clothing for the weather.

Kristy shared with me that some homeless people are hesitant to check in at the Pov because of fear of being around groups of strangers during the pandemic. Others may have mental health issues, may be couples who don't want to sleep separately, or have other reasons they aren't permitted to stay at the Pov. As with all of the staff at the Pov, the HOT program also has the goal of educating the public, and spreading awareness of Missoula's homelessness and hunger issues. So the HOT members are an important lifeline for some of Missoula's most vulnerable residents. Kristy also mentioned that they are hiring, if you're interested, reach out to them at poverello@montana.com

And, if you're still under the impression that only "junkies" and those who are unwilling to get a job utilize services at the Poverello, it may surprise you to know that about 40% of shelter guests have income, but still struggle to find housing in Missoula. If you rent, you know how tough this market is for housing. If you'd like to help, the Pov's current "needs of the week" are warm coats, hats and gloves. Due to COVID-19, there is limited access to the business, so if you'd like to donate, please call 529-5643 when you arrive, so a staff member can come out to help you. And thank you in advance for your kindness.