MISSOULA — County-wide efforts are now underway hoping to relocate some of the homeless population residing under the Reserve Street Bridge, but what about all of the trash that's left behind?
"This has been a 15 year plus challenge for Missoula, and just in recent years, the community has been focusing on it more, realizing okay, wait a second. How long do we want 10 to 80 people living by the bridge," said Kevin Davis who organizes cleanups, where volunteers pick up trash, multiple times a year.
"With the tensions as they are at the national level right now, why don't we figure out things we can do locally like this to empower people and get more of the broader community involved?" Davis added.
Missoula officials created a new outdoor shelter late last year, hoping to serve as a stepping stone between the Reserve Street camp, and permanent housing. Davis said eventually, he'd like to see the site make a return to nature.
"Okay let's figure out what the long-term solution is, otherwise you're going to have burnout from advocates, you're going to have a lot of frustration in the community," Davis said.
He also emphasized that some of these clean up efforts are in anticipation of environmental effects, ahead of the river rising when spring hits.