MISSOULA - The Poverello Center is crunched for space, as staff say more people are in need of a place to stay at night after the Salvation Army closed its warming shelter at the end of March.
Poverello employees say they can house 175 people per night. The warming shelter housed around 80 people when it was open. Poverello Executive Director Amy Allison Thompson says her organization saw a decrease in homeless people sleeping at their facility when the warming center was open.
Now, with the Salvation Army's warming shelter closed, Poverello employees say they're forced to turn people away.
But the Poverello is still doing the best they can, Thompson says.
"Our homeless outreach team does work with folks living unsheltered and with those who can't stay that particular night. They work closely with them to making sure they have warm gear, so they can survive the colder nights," Thompson. "But it is a gap in our services in this community, we really need more space."
Thompson adds there is limited capacity in their shelter, and her organization doesn't have plan at this time to expand.
She's hoping to have more conversations about how to address homelessness with the community.