Missoula’s Poverello Center and Johnson Street Shelter are the two main places homeless people can find food and shelter during the winter.

KGVO News reached out to Jesse Jeager, director of development and advocacy for the Poverello Center, for an update on both facilities as the weather deteriorates this week.

“The main facility (The Poverello Center) at 1110 West Broadway is still operating with a reduced capacity of approximately 88 people who may seek shelter at this facility,” Jeager said. “This facility is usually full every night. The Johnson Street Emergency Winter Shelter can accommodate up to 150 people. In recent days it has been warmer, so there are only 80-90 people seeking refuge there. I expect that as it gets colder we will see many more people accessing shelter at the Johnson Street facility as we move forward.

Jeager described how people housed in the shelters receive their meals.

“We cook all of our food at the main soup kitchen at 1110 West Broadway, then in the evening we bring in a meal that comes to the Johnson Street facility, usually served around five, then we also have bagged lunches and other pre-prepared meals available at Johnson Street facilities during the rest of the day,” he said. “This is the soup kitchen at the Poverello Center which is also open for breakfast, then a hot lunch and a hot dinner. Guests staying at the Johnson Street facility are welcome upon our arrival at Broadway and also receive food.

Jeager said he hoped the facilities wouldn’t be so crowded that people would have to be turned away.

“We will try to do our best to bring as many people as possible,” he said. “We never reached capacity last year when we hit a severe cold snap, so hopefully we won’t reach capacity again this year, but unfortunately we will have to turn people away. And that’s just the reality of the lack of shelter space in Missoula and having to balance that with protecting people from COVID as well.

Jeager did not comment on security at the Johnson Street facility due to security being funded by the City of Missoula.

Anyone wishing to donate funds or items to the Poverello Center can get more information here.

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