YWCA and Missoula Interfaith Collaborative break ground on a new domestic violence and homeless shelter

Photo Courtesy of MMW Architects

MISSOULA- In an effort to solve Missoula’s homeless crisis, the YWCA and the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative broke ground Wednesday on a brand-new facility.

This facility will provide critical support to families who suffer from domestic violence, unaffordable rent, or loss of employment.

The new-three story family housing center will be located at 1800 block of South 3rd West in Missoula.

The name of the housing center is going to be called The Meadowlark, named in honor of Montana’s state bird-- because it represents peace, safety, and easier times ahead.

Easier times ahead, that is what the YWCA, and the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative hope to bring to families that will attend the future center.

This facility has been four years in the making, and project executives say it's long overdue.

"We have long waiting lists where we have to turn away families for sometimes up to 2 o 3 weeks at a time before we can get them into housing. We just decided it wasn't right, we could do better, and we should do better,” YWCA’s Executive Director, Cindy Weese said.

On any given night, 50 families, including 100 children --go unsheltered.

These hidden families, without a home, soon, will have a safe, private, confidential place to rest their head.

The YWCA Executive Director, Cindy Weese said, "A day in the not so distant future where we are able to say yes to everyone who comes through our doors in need of help where women, and men, and children have a safe place to sleep every single night."

In total, The Meadowlark will cost $12 million, with $8 million coming from a capital campaign and the rest coming from city and state grants, tiff funding, and tax credits.

The facility will be able to house 44 families with access to toddler and youth areas, a healthcare room, meeting rooms, laundry, and more.

Domestic violence coordinator says finally --families won't be turned away.

"We will not have to turn anyone away for lack of space, that we will be able to help that hidden community that we are talking about find housing, find safe shelter, find a place that they feel safe and secure,” Chris Young-Greer, YWCA’s Domestic Violence Shelter Coordinator said.

Beginning construction stages will start in the next few days, with the whole project taking 14 months to complete.

The campaign to raise $8 million is only 84% there. The Meadowlark campaigners encourage the public to keep your eyes open for future donation possibilities.

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