BUTTE – It wasn’t easy cutting the ribbon on Butte’s new homeless shelter. But, then again, it wasn’t easy getting the new shelter in the first place.
It took nearly three years and many, many challenges .
“Well, I cannot lie, there’s been days where I thought it may not happen,” said Butte Rescue Mission Director Rocky Lyons.
But this week it did happen and the Butte Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter will begin serving up to 56 needy people at the new location off East Platinum Street.
Butte had been without a shelter since the previous one was closed in 2017 due to fire code violations. Homelessness has been a major problem in Butte.
“It should help, you know, there’s no reason for them to be Uptown sitting on the corners looking for food and trying to get a place to sleep at night. I think this is going to be the answer to their prayer,” said Butte Chief Executive Dave Palmer.
Many supporters turned out for the ribbon cutting Tuesday, including a group of young people from Silver Bow Youth Leaders who made care packages to be given out to those using the shelter.
“I think it’s great that they’re finally going to have a place to go. I think what we did will help them a lot and in the future, we’re going to be making more of them,” said Taryn Stratton, 16, with Silver Bow Youth Leadership.
The next step for the rescue mission is to convert this warehouse into a center of hope to give clients addiction treatment and workshops to help them get their lives back together so, hopefully, they won’t have to return to the homeless shelter.
“We can feed and shelter people all day long but until that restoration and transformation takes place, we’ve done nothing but feed and shelter them and we haven’t done anything and they haven’t received anything. All we’ve done is enable them to continue to live in the lifestyle that they’ve been living in,” said Lyons.
The shelter will start taking in clients on Wednesday.
-John Emeigh reporting for MTN News