Faced with demand, Poverello Center sets “caps” on overnight stays for safety

Posted at 9:45 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 23:45:20-04

(MISSOULA)- Faced with a full house, even during these warmer summer months, managers of the Poverello Center are deciding to set caps to control the number of people staying overnight at the Missoula shelter.

When the new Poverello Center opened just short of four years ago, there was optimism the shelter’s space problems had been resolved.

But by last winter, the center’s popularity already had it bursting at the seems, with nearly 200 homeless men and women crowding the Pov on the coldest nights. That not only placed a strain on resources, but also raised safety concerns.

Now, the Poverello Center’s Board of Directors are deciding to implement specific caps to keep staff and clients safe, and also keep the center functioning as designed. Effective this week, the Pov will shelter no more than 150-people, with a cap of 175-during the winter months.

There will be a daily lottery for bed space for those not enrolled in specific programs for veterans, resident volunteers or those in the shelter and Medical Respite Programs.

Poverello Center Executive Director Amy Allison Thompson says the caps are a "tough but necessary choice." But says it will help the center meet its goals of finding "permanent, stable housing" for those who are most "vulnerable."