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Missoula Urban Camping Working Group discusses houselessness problems, solutions

New efforts are underway to help address urban camping in Missoula
Urban Camping
Posted at 5:25 PM, Feb 22, 2024

MISSOULA — New efforts are underway to help address urban camping in Missoula.

Mayor Andrea Davis brought together a working group on the subject for the first time on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024.

The Urban Camping Work Group is made up of 25 members including city officials, representatives from the Houseless Tenants Union, the Poverello Center, the Missoula Economic Partnership, and local businesses.

"There's a wide range of different perspectives at the table working with city council and the administration to develop I think a better understanding of some of the challenges. We're not going to be able to solve homelessness in this working group but we are going to be able to have a conversation together that I think will put some solutions forward that I think will make it easier on everybody," Mayor Davis told MTN.

While no votes or city council decisions will happen at the meeting, the council may consider recommendations at their future meetings. The group simply wants to define problems and develop solutions to keep the community safe.

Some of the questions being addressed include: how to define a problematic encampment, who is responsible for cleaning up these camps, and how can use of current shelters be incentivized more.

The City of Missoula shared, "While the meeting is open to the public, it is not intended to be a forum for public participation. The public is invited to observe the work group sessions and public comment will be taken at the end of each session."

The next meeting will take place on March 6, 2024.