KALISPELL — On Wednesday, 35 households at the Fairbridge Inn and Suites in Kalispell received $10,000 gifts from Flathead philanthropists Michael and Jamie Goguen just days before eviction.
The Samaritan House - a low-barrier homeless shelter and transitional living program in Kalispell are opening their doors for anyone from Fairbridge in need of temporary shelter as they try to find permanent housing.
“This is a situation where folks at the Fairbridge were dealt a raw deal and it wasn’t their fault so, we’re hoping to be as flexible and say yes to as many scenarios as we can to serve in any way possible,” Samaritan House Executive Director Chris Krager told MTN News.
Krager said the number of families needing assistance is unclear at this time, but they’re preparing emergency shelter for as many families as possible.
“We’re preparing for the worst and will be happy if it’s less as far as the number of people that might need services here,” added Krager.
Krager said the Samaritan House will assist families in finding long-term housing among other resources.
“Cafeteria, three meals a day, case management staff, and great collaborative efforts with lots of other organizations that have anything that can help,” said Krager.
Krager admits finding affordable housing in Flathead County will not be an easy task for families, as the demand highly outgrows the supply.
He said the Samaritan House has eyes on expansion in the summer of 2023 building single-income affordable apartments on 2.5 acres of already purchased property.
“Interesting to note that if we had the expansion plan completely in place right now it would exactly be what we need to address what the community is wrestling with serving right now and so, our expansion plans we hope to break ground in the summer of 2023 and add 16 really affordable two-and three-bedroom apartments, which in this scenario would have been perfect,” said Krager.
Krager said the expansion project will cost roughly $9-to-10 million with money raised coming through grants and fundraising efforts.