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Public Q&A today for new Missoula Temporary Safe Outdoor Space

Temporary Safe Outdoor Space
Posted at 9:40 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 16:30:59-05

MISSOULA — Missoula city and county officials are hosting a meeting to answer questions about a new outdoor space being used to house the homeless.

The Missoula City-County Joint Information Center for COVID-19 will hold a public question-and-answer session on the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space on Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. by Zoom.

The forum will feature a brief overview of the project and then will be open for the general public and news reporters to ask questions.

Missoula’s Temporary Safe Outdoor Space – which is located on private land along US Highway 93 is staffed 24 hours a day and will house 40 unsheltered people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a project of United Way of Missoula County and Hope Rescue Mission.

City and county officials say the space It is being offered during the public health emergency because no local providers of food, shelter or services are able to operate at full capacity.

A large number of people are living outdoors in unsafe situations without sanitary facilities -- mostly in an area under the Reserve Street Bridge.

The following people will be among those on hand to answer questions on Wednesday:

  • Susan Hay Patrick, United Way of Missoula County CEO
  • Eric Legvold, Director of Impact at United Way
  • Jim Hicks, executive director of Hope Rescue Mission
  • April Seat, the Mission’s Director of Outreach

The costs to set up the temporary space are being reimbursed through federal CARES Act money, which means that no local taxpayer dollars are being used.

The United Way and Hope Rescue Mission are seeking additional funding to sustain the site through the winter.

United Way and Mission leaders held a press conference about the plans on Nov. 20, but according to a joint city and county news release, “misinformation persists in the community. The Joint Information Center is sponsoring this forum to foster clear public information.”

Additional information about the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space can be found here.

Here are the Zoom instructions for the meeting:

Click the following link to join the webinar: / Passcode: 117479

Or iPhone one-tap: US: +12532158782,,84045466167# or +12133388477,,84045466167#

Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 253 215 8782 or +1 213 338 8477 or +1 267 831 0333

Webinar ID: 840 4546 6167