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HRDC finds more than 300 unhoused people in Bozeman, new shelter to open in 2025

More people than ever before in Bozeman are experiencing homelessness. That's according to a recent count conducted by HRDC.
Posted at 5:33 PM, Feb 06, 2024

BOZEMAN — More people than ever before in Bozeman are experiencing homelessness. That's according to a recent count conducted by HRDC. But according to HRDC Housing Director Brian Guyer, plans are in the works to handle these rising numbers of people in need.

“On one hand, we’re excited when we finish up the PIT count because it takes a lot of effort, but on the other hand, we’re counting people who are homeless and that is always a sobering experience,” said Guyer

On Jan. 25, we tagged along as HRDC went around town to conduct its point-in-time (PIT) count—an attempt to get an accurate number of unhoused people in the community.

Guyer says that number is more than 300, the highest number of homeless people they’ve ever seen.

“And that’s not even counting tallies from Family Promise, Haven, and other groups who participate in the PIT count,” said Guyer.

Guyer says luckily the new shelter being built, called Homeward Point, will meet the needs of our unhoused community that grows every year.

Over at the HRDC Warming Center, they’re able to take in 105 guests max. The new shelter located right next to the HRDC marketplace on Griffin Drive will add 30 more beds, plus separate suites for families.

Guyer says at the Warming Center, they're operating on a low-barrier model.

“Which means we don’t have sobriety requirements,” said Guyer. “Every guest that comes in has to sign a behavioral agreement.”

But, he says that may or may not change in the future.

“As we move forward and get a little savvier on how we provide this service to the community, we certainly are going to have those conversations about whether or not this the most appropriate model for our guests.”

In the meantime, as HRDC continues to look toward the future, they have high hopes for Homeward Point, which is slated to open in June 2025.

“The design of it is so intentional and we’re going to get people back on their feet a lot quicker,” said Guyer.

To support the new emergency shelter visit HRDC's Community Commons web page.


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