Crews to break ground on new Missoula shelter


MISSOULA, Mont. - Montana's largest homeless shelter is breaking ground on a new emergency facility. Crews will begin building the new Poverello Center on West Broadway in Missoula this week.

The price of the project is expected to total between $5-6 million altogether.

The building will sleep 100 people a night and provide three hot meals a day, as well as expanded health care. The facility covers just over 20,000 square feet and should be completed in a year.

The following is a press release from the Poverello Center:

After a several years of planning, Missoula's Poverello Center will break ground on construction of their new facility this week. The new shelter and community kitchen will provide overnight accommodations to 100 men and women, three hot meals a day to people struggling with food insecurity, and a myriad of day services to help people get back on their feet.

"The new building is an important component in our community's plan to end homelessness. It provides a central location where people can get their basic needs met while connecting them with the services to move beyond homelessness. It will also act as a preventative measure to homelessness, by eliminating the difficult decision to pay for food or to pay rent," said Eran Fowler Pehan, Executive Director of the Poverello Center.

The new South Broadway location will provide communal dormitories and semi-private rooms for veterans, elderly, women, and people with acute medical needs or receiving hospice care. In addition to a commercial kitchen, the Poverello Center will offer a small food pantry, an expanded Health Care for the Homeless medical clinic through our collaboration with Partnership Health Center, and classroom space to provide vocational training and support.

"This project has had considerable support from Montana's legislators who recognize the need for a safety net like the Poverello Center, especially for our veterans," said Eran Fowler Pehan. "The Poverello Center does tremendous work to help Montanans get back on their feet," Senator Jon Tester said. "This expansion will allow the Pov to reach out and support more Montanans - including veterans - who need a hand during tough times."

The facility, at just over 20,000 square feet, is being constructed by Swank Enterprises, a Montana-based firm, and is set to be complete in November of 2014. A focus on sustainability is evident throughout the design including energy efficient windows, durable finishes, and energy star appliances, ensuring the building is less costly to run. The Poverello Center plans to vacate their current facility and be operational in the new location by the end of 2014.

The Help Build Hope Committee, a group of dedicated community members raising funds to complete the project, is chaired by Mayor John Engen and Rick Wishcamper. The group has raised more than $1.3 million in private-sector contributions, with the goal of raising a total of $1.6 million in the coming months. "The community has been amazing in its generous support of this much needed project and has once again confirmed that it is this wonderful, compassionate and philanthropic community of friends and neighbors that make this such a special place to live", said Rick Wishcamper, Help Build Hope Co-Chair and Poverello Board Member. For Release October 30th, 2013

The remainder of the 4.7 million dollar project is funded through a combination of federal and local grants as well as local and national sources of financing. Grant funds have been approved from the Veterans Administration, Community Development Block Grants Programs through the City of Missoula and the Department of Commerce, a Federal Appropriation, Missoula Redevelopment Agency, and EPA Brownfields Program. Local financing is also being provided from the Montana Community Development Corporation (Montana CDC) who specializes in business and New Markets Tax Credit financing.

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