MISSOULA — The City of Missoula has announced that the Johnson Street Emergency Winter Shelter will continue operating through April 30.
Staff from the Poverello Center, which is operating the shelter as the city’s contractor this winter, made the decision in view of the continuing pandemic, according to a news release.
Infectious disease control measures have kept the Poverello Center homeless shelter on West Broadway operating at half-capacity. City officials note the extension will allow more time for shelter clients to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations and more time for staff to work with clients on their next steps.
The shelter has slept about 120 people per night and has served 450 individuals while the Poverello Center has operated near capacity nightly.
The extension is made possible by funding offered by the Human Resource Council based in Missoula.
"It can still get dangerously cold at night in April so we are very thankful to the Human Resource Council providing the Poverello Center a little extra funding that will allow us to keep the Johnson Street emergency shelter open for another month," said Amy Allison Thompson, Executive Director of the Poverello Center.
"This extra time will also allow for a smoother transition period as our Homeless Outreach Team staff continue to work with those who have been using the shelter to find better housing options. And it should lessen the impact of the shelter closing on the wider community."
Poverello Center staff will provide an informational update with details of the extension for the Missoula City Council’s Committee of the Whole on Wednesday afternoon.