HRDC sees increase in shelter guests this season
As frigid temperatures reach Southwest Montana, HRDC continues its efforts to shelter people without homes. Since the onset of the pandemic, the number of people experiencing homelessness has been on the rise. Evidence of this can be seen within the organization’s seasonal emergency shelter service, known as the Warming Center.
During this cold front, HRDC’s emergency shelters, located in Bozeman and Livingston, have both seen increases with a combined average of 95 individuals per night, which is about double the number the organization saw last year. With severe winter weather hitting Bozeman and much of Montana, the need for a year-round, full day shelter is apparent.
“It is important to note that with these frigid temperatures, most of the resources our community members without housing typically rely on are not there for them right now due to COVID. This ties directly to our community’s need for a year-round, full-day emergency shelter, which Community First Griffin Place will bring,” says HRDC CEO & President Heather Grenier.
“In previous years, our neighbors might have been able to seek warmth during the day at school, work, or in public places. Now, many of these places are at limited capacity or completely closed. COVID-19 has clearly affected more people in our community than might be visible. While some continue to work from home, others have seen their hours cut, lost jobs, or worse, are no longer housed. We know much of our area struggles with an already tough housing market, COVID, and now below zero temperatures, isn’t making it any easier,” says Brian Guyer, HRDC Housing Director.
For more information about HRDC’s response to homelessness or any other HRDC service, visit thehrdc.org.
HRDC’s Griffin Place — part of the organization’s new development that will provide food and shelter services for the community — will be located across two parcels of land to the east and west of North 7th Avenue and will include a food resource center and a year-round shelter with onsite housing services and Housing First Village, an innovative approach utilizing tiny homes to address housing for persons whom homelessness has been a chronic situation. •