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Ribbon cutting celebrates conversion of former Montana Bible College into emergency shelter

Family Promise and other organizations celebrated the new emergency shelter with a ribbon cutting on Wednesday.
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Posted at 4:55 PM, Dec 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-14 11:02:21-05

BOZEMAN — With such a high demand for emergency housing across Gallatin County, Family Promise says that will all soon start to change at their ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the conversion of the former Montana Bible College.

“No matter what, no child should be without a house. They shouldn't be, you know, sleeping on the street,” says Family Promise Executive Director Christel Chvilicek.

With 19 units available right now, and 9 more being added later, Chvilicek says this campus off of South 19th will soon serve about 100 families a year facing housing insecurity.

“In two years we had a 685% increase in services and it's still not enough. We actually have about five to ten families that call each week,” says Chvilicek.

The total cost of this project is $7.25 million. A $1 million down payment was made from the Gallatin Housing Impact Fund that provides low-interest loans to expand affordable housing solutions—funding that Deputy Mayor Terry Cunningham believes is vital.

“It's the type of housing that we need for our workforce and to get people out of RVs and campers and onto a path to permanent housing,” says Cunningham, “We recognize that transitional housing, emergency housing for families is an absolutely vital part of the continuum that is so important here in Bozeman.”

Family Promise is now looking to raise around $6 million to pay off the loans. Chvilicek says this new facility is a step in the right direction for helping those with housing insecurity.

“It seems like every year we were talking about, ‘We need more space, how do we do this?’ And this just makes that dream a reality,” says Chvilicek.

Family Promise is hoping to raise around $4 million within the next 9 months.

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