The city of Missoula is considering giving the Missoula Salvation Army permission to run a temporary warming shelter, but the Salvation Army needs to raise thousands of dollars to turn the idea into a reality.
The Salvation Army needs about $50,000 to staff and supply the temporary warming shelter. The organization currently has about $15,000 from community partners, and is working with other community partners to raise the funds. Salvation Army officer Captain Josh Boyd the organization can't open the shelter for people in need until it has the money, even if the city says yes to the idea.
"We're actually operating in a year where our budget has been cut significantly, so we don't really have any extra funds to be able to do this," Boyd said. "But it's a service we want to provide. It's a service we think we're ready to provide if we can find the funds."
Boyd hopes the shelter will be up and running by the beginning of December 2018. He says the $50,000 would cover the costs necessary to keep the warming shelter running until the spring, and hopes it will be able to give about 40 people per night a safe place to sleep. He cautions that it will take a week or two to get the logistics of running the shelter in place after the funding is raised.
The Missoula City Council will meet on Friday, Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. to discuss granting the Salvation Army permission to run the warming shelter from November 23, 2018 to April 1, 2019. The meeting is open to the public.