United Way of Missoula County CEO, Susan Hay Patrick.
Edward O'Brien

Dozens of homeless Missoulians are now pre-qualified for a federal rental assistance program. The problem is, there’s a dearth of available rentals in Missoula’s red-hot housing market.

Single mom Julie Barrett and her three kids were very familiar with the problem. They were homeless for over a year. That changed in December after Barrett enrolled her family in what’s called a Shelter Plus Care rental voucher. That decision landed the Barrett’s a new rental home this past December. /

In recent years, Montana’s fastest-growing city, Bozeman, has also seen a rise in the number of people who are homeless. Expensive housing and stagnant wages may be to blame.

Some of the coldest temperatures of this already bitterly cold week are forecast over the next 12 to 24 hours. Homeless shelters are trying to help Montana’s most vulnerable during this weather emergency.

Lack Of State Housing Funding Puts Montana In Crisis

May 12, 2016
Homeless man sits in the riverside park in Missoula
Claire Burgeson

A recent survey revealed some surprising opinions among Montanans. Professor Christopher Muste helped conduct the survey for the University of Montana and Stanford University.

“What we found is that a large majority, almost three-quarters of Montana, were willing to have the government spend more money specifically for low-income housing and for housing for homeless people.”

Hundreds of people who are homeless or at risk to be got help today in Missoula at the annual Project Homeless Connect event, where they were offered a variety of free services.