Low Barrier Shelter

BUTTE- The new Center of Hope Homeless Shelter is being expanded with a new "low barrier" shelter for homeless people who use drugs or alcohol.

Most homeless shelters require clients to be sober, but low-barrier shelters are designed to accept clients who use drugs or alcohol, as a way to help people who are struggling with addiction and keep them out of the cold in winter.

Staff says the new shelter will have fewer amenities than the restorative shelter to the east but the buildings will look identical. The pre-fab buildings were delivered to the campus on East Platinum Street this week and crews are already hard at work setting them up.

Rocky Lions, executive director of the Butte Rescue Mission, says they're expecting more wear and tear of the building while it's holding more people.

Those in need can stay at the new shelter for up to seven days and the maximum capacity is 16 people. Lyons says they have room for additional people and when the winter comes she hopes the city gives them approval to house additional people.

Lyons says no one can be turned away from the new shelter for being under the influence, unless they're a threat to themselves or others. Lyons said, "This will allow them to have a clean place to come to sleep, to get out of the elements of the weather and to be able to wash clothes, take a shower and be able to eat a meal."

Lyons says the new shelter will greatly benefit the city by getting even more homeless people off the streets.

Lyons says the Rescue Mission hopes to have the new low barrier shelter open by October 7.

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