MISSOULA - Missoula YWCA and Missoula Interfaith Collaborative have partnered to launch an $8 million public campaign to build a domestic violence shelter and new family housing center.

Missoula has the highest population of homeless families in the state but is the only urban area without a family shelter. The new facility will be the first and only one in Missoula to give same-day emergency housing for families with children.

"They are striving on a day to day basis to make it, but also to keep their reality that they're homeless, kind of unseen," said Casey Dunning, MIC executive director.

So far the organizations have raised $6.4 million of their $8 million goal. The project has a total budget of $13.2 million and is receiving additional funding from Community Development Block Grants, Tax Increment Financing and YWCA equity. The goal is to raise the rest of the money through community donations of any amount.

"Every day people in every day places in Missoula will be able to take action and do what they can to help us see these families home," said Cindy Weese, Missoula YWCA executive director.

Kathy Veazey, who was raised in Missoula and is the lead donor on the project, said she believed in the YWCA's message and mission to provide for all Missoulians. Veaezy said she wanted to really support her community in anyway that she could.

"When we support our neighbors in need, we build up the entire community," Veazey said. "This is a project for all of Missoula. Let's take it on together."

The new facility will be 36,750 square feet and constructed on West Third Street. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

The new facility will have YWCA's program offices and an expanded domestic violence shelter. The emergency housing center for homeless families will be operated in partnership with MIC's family promise program.

Community members can learn more about donating and involvement at https://www.seethemhome.org/ 

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