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Butte homeless shelter faces challenge of relocating - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Butte homeless shelter faces challenge of relocating

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Butte’s homeless shelter on East Second Street is unsafe and must be abandoned. (MTN News photo) Butte’s homeless shelter on East Second Street is unsafe and must be abandoned. (MTN News photo)
BUTTE -

Butte’s homeless shelter on East Second Street is unsafe and must be abandoned. That’s the verdict of an inspection done by the Butte Fire Department on Jan. 5  that found numerous code violations.

“There’s no fire suppression equipment, there’s no sprinkling system and there’s no general fire alarm to notify people if there’s a problem. Those are two biggest things,” said Butte Fire Chief Jeff Miller.

The Butte Rescue Mission is working with the city to possibly move to the former Homeward Bound building at Main and Quartz streets in Uptown. Shelter management is working on a purchase agreement with the vacant building’s owner Action Inc.

“It’s got plenty of room, it’s in a location that’s not a residential neighborhood. The zoning is appropriate. So, it’s probably the best location we can come up with for them to be relocated to,” Miller said.

However, many Uptown business owners are not happy with having a homeless shelter in the area.

“I know we have to have the shelter, I know we have to have a place for the people, but I don’t think in the middle of a historical district like Butte Uptown is the place to have this,” said B&S Café owner Sandy Yakawich.

Several business owners complained last summer about aggressive panhandling in Uptown Butte hurting their businesses. So now this recent news about the possibility of moving homeless shelter so close to this business district has many Uptown business owners upset.

“You do something like this and in a year’s time you may not have half the businesses up here, if that, because a few of them this morning said they’ll pull out, they won’t  stay, you know, so what are you going to do? Have a whole lot of empty buildings?” Yakawich said.

The rescue mission remains open, but, if all goes as planned, it will be in the new location by March.

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