Bozeman Warming Center set to move this weekend

GALLATIN COUNTY

POSTED: 7:24 PM Dec 10 2012   UPDATED: 8:58 PM Dec 10 2012
HRDC Warming Center
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The Bozeman Warming Center is set to move to its new location this weekend, and the HRDC said it's just in time- because they're at max capacity.

Sara Savage, who directs the HRDC's Housing First program said the number of people looking for help doubled this year, and they're running out of room in the Warming Center.

The shelter provides a place for homeless people to stay during the winter. Right now it's at the Fairgrounds, but is set to move to the corner of Griffin and Industrial Drives.

The new shelter can house 40 people, which almost doubles capacity from the current 24. It has separate rooms for men, women and families. Savage said it also has a community room with computers people can use to look for jobs and housing.

They had to remodel the building to bring it up to code and make sure it can accommodate the Center's needs. All of that was done on a volunteer basis, she said.

"Our volunteers have been so incredible. They've been hard at work doing some basic renovations of the building, so that we can get the folks up here" Savage said, adding they've been "building an amazing amount of bunk beds, so that we can increase our capacity."

At this time last year, she said 24 people sought shelter. Since the November 15th opening this year, that number is 41.

The largest number of guests the Warming Center served in a single night in the 2011 season was 12. But for 2012, that number's jumped to 20.

And, Savage said, the shelter didn't house any families last year. But this year, two families have stayed at the Warming Center.

Savage said they'll make the big move on Saturday. She said the space is bigger, and more costly to rent- and it takes more funds to keep the new center going.

Donations are down by $25,000 from last year, she said, so they are hoping to turn that around. She said anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by visiting the HRDC website.