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Missoula YWCA tries to help combat homelessness

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    MISSOULA (KPAX TV) — There could be homeless 50 families in Missoula without a safe place to sleep on any given night and YWCA Missoula spokesman Becky Margolis says the problem is even harder to deal with in the winter.

“During the warmer months, families are sometimes able to camp, or sleep in their cars, but when the temperature drops, that condition becomes more critical,” said Margolis.

The YWCA tries to provide assistance programs and emergency housing, but Margolis says its at capacity. It is able to place up to eight families in local motel rooms, but only for a 50 day period.

The Family Promise Program can give four families a place to sleep in local congregations.

Margolis says that the reality of the situation is that there are dozens more families not being able to have a safe place to stay adding that Missoula has the highest number of homeless families in the state, and is the only metropolitan area that doesn’t have a family shelter.

She told MTN News that there are many reasons for the high population of homeless kids and families, but YWCA focuses on providing assistance. The new family shelte r, which began construction this summer, will have 31 rooms for homeless families. They hope to open it by next winter.

“We know that being able to make a difference early on in a child’s life can really have a positive impact and that’s why we feel like this new project is really critical and the work that we are doing is so important,” said Margolis.

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Mark R Thorsell