Poverello Center Raises $1.1 Million For New Location - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Poverello Center Raises $1.1 Million For New Location

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MISSOULA -

The Poverello Center reached a major fundraising goal, inching ever closer to building a new location. Poverello Center officials say one thing is stopping them on their mission to help Missoula's homeless population, that's the building they're currently in.

Demolition is in progress at the site of the old Trails End bar on West Broadway to make room for what Poverello Center officials call a new and improved emergency shelter.

"It's very exciting to see the site starting to clear off, and things starting to happen," said the lead architect on the project, John Wells.

Wells was among the group to meet at the site on Wednesday, to announce the launch of the final phase of the "Help Build Hope Campaign." It's aimed at raising money toward the $5 million construction project.

"We are just blown away by the generosity of the community," said Poverello Center Executive Director, Eran Fowler Pehan.

Fowler Pehan also announced the Poverello Center raised $1.1 million through private sector contributions. The public is now invited to contribute to their $500,000 fundraising goal.

"The clients who access services at the Poverello Center really are our neighbors, our friends and our neighbors, who have fallen on hard times, and need the safety net of the emergency center," Fowler Pehan said.

The new three-story center will be built at the site this fall. It's specifically designed to serve Missoula's homeless population.

"We wanted a place that was welcoming and warm, and light-filled and comfortable for the people that use the space," Wells said.

The old site on Ryman Street was built in the 1800's as a boarding home. Fowler Pehan said it's not properly designed for the number of people they serve on a daily basis. The center currently serves between 1,5000 and 2,000 people per year.

"We don't anticipate the new facility will serve any more, or less people per year, but what we do anticipate is we'll be able to serve them more effectively, and get them in to permanent housing faster," Fowler Pehan said.

Until the new center is built, the Pov's Ryman Street location is still open to those in need.
Fowler Pehan said someone has already purchased the old building. It's not clear what they plan to do with the structure.

Architects said construction of the new center could start as early as August.

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