HRDC, Chamber and Metropolis trying to deal with city tenting

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BOZEMAN – The city of Bozeman has grown rapidly, and with it has come growth challenges such as affordable housing, a high cost of living and a lack of childcare facilities. Residents have run out of resources and this has resulted in some living on the streets, which has created a new problem – urban camping.

“We have to at least have the value to look back and say that we have to take care of our most needy people who are here,” said Daryl Slime, president and CEO of the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce.

Edgar Cedillo – MTN NEWS

Residents have run out of resources and this has resulted in some living on the streets, which has created a new problem – urban camping.

The Chamber of Commerce, HRDC and the City have set up a task force to address the issues forcing people to live in city camps across the city and provide them with the resources they need in the new HRDC Community Connection facility on Griffin Drive, which is scheduled to open sometime next year.

“Give the unlucky people a place in a facility to warm up, get food on the board, and get the help they need to do that,” said Schlemme.

According to Slime, the task force has three goals: to help people get back on their feet, provide access to housing, increase access to mental health resources, and get people off the streets once the new facility opens .

“Which now allows the police to do their jobs because we have the year-round facility that allows them to say you have to go to X, Y, Z,” said Schlemme.

“We worked with the City of Bozeman and the Chamber of Commerce to develop the community’s new year-round warm shelter,” said Tracy Menuez, associate director at HRDC.

The shelter, which HRDC calls Homeward Point, is said to have 130 beds.

“We help people come in right away, throw whatever we have at them and then help them find permanent housing in the community.”

The first step they are working on is providing resources before the new campus opens.

“Talk to them about the resources that are available to them, whether it’s food, shelter, access to behavioral therapies, or whatever else might help people understand what’s available,” Menuez says.

Leaders are expecting an announcement on the Community Connection facility next week.