Povercello Center Grand Opening

[Photo 1: Speakers addressing seated crowd]
Speakers addressing seated crowd

On December 12, 2014, residents of Missoula celebrated the grand opening of the Poverello Center (www.thepoverellocenter.org/), the largest homeless shelter in the state of Montana. "The Pov" provides a multitude of services for approximately 7,000 low-income people every year, including emergency shelter, meals, supportive housing for veterans, healthcare, and other services.

The new facility features a large kitchen area that has enough space for staff and volunteers to serve 140,000 meals a year, 115 beds to accommodate the current demand for shelter, an expanded on-site medical clinic, a supportive housing program for veterans, and a computer center offering educational programs, vocational training, and job search assistance.

Funding for the $5 million facility was obtained through multiple local, state, and federal organizations, foundations, and individuals. HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding was used to fill a crucial gap in the project funding.

This project represents the first time that state CDBG funds ($450,000) have been combined with local CDBG funds ($250,000) on a joint project in Montana.

At the event, HUD Regional Administrator Rick Garcia noted that Missoula has one of highest concentration areas of veteran homelessness in the state, thus the new facility provides a critical resource to help build on progress made toward the goal of ending chronic veteran homelessness.

[Photo 2: Outside of Poverello Center building]
Outside of Poverello Center building

He stated, "I am proud to support the City of Missoula and Mayor Engen, who have joined over 240 mayors and city officials in the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, an effort to mobilize federal, local, and non-profit efforts to end veteran homelessness in their communities to ensure that every veteran has a safe, affordable place to call home."

The Pov's opening is a key step in moving forward with Reaching Home, Missoula's 10 Year Plan to End Homeless. Staff and board members worked extensively with city and community members to ensure that the new facility will fulfill its mission to provide assistance to the homeless in a way that will also support long-term community planning. 

Executive Director Eran Fowler Pehan noted, "Our grand opening is a tremendous first step in Missoula's effort to end homeless. However the job is not done, and we'll continue working with our partners until everyone in the community has a safe place to sleep at night."


Content Archived: February 19, 2016