MISSOULA — Missoula County is working to address increasing homelessness.
Officials are hoping to relocate people staying at the encampment under the Reserve Street Bridge by some time next year. But first, officials say they need to offer safer places for them to go which is why they're looking to new temporary housing options.
The City and County are making progress on the Operation Shelter plan.
The first step is to construct a sanctioned campsite behind Walmart, near the Reserve Street encampment that will house about 30 people. Fencing is going up, and soon it will be ready to operate-complete with bathrooms and tents.
"It allows us to kind of clean up these places where we don't want people camping illegally, while also not just pushing them to scatter throughout the city. We want to give them a safe place to be and provide them the resources they need, but also give them the freedom to camp there if they need to, and let them decide when they want to reach out for resources if needed." - Missoula County shelter operations manager Casey Gannon
The county says this authorized camping site should be ready to operate and house homeless people by the middle of January. We'll continue to keep you updated with Missoula's plans to get homeless people in to temporary, and permanent housing.