Temporary Warming Center plans put on hold in Bozeman

The HRDC has formally requested more time to review public comment
Posted at 9:05 AM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 16:19:07-05

BOZEMAN — The Human Resource Development Council purchased a home in South Bozeman last month, to potentially serve as the overflow location for the Warming Center.

But those plans have been put on hold.

“The vast majority of the people in the neighborhood are grateful that it was slowed down,” said Paige Culver, a resident of the Figgins neighborhood.

The potential overflow location, off Westridge Drive, would serve a specific purpose.

“It will be women and families, it will be seasonal, it will be temporary, and it’s not our long-term plan, to use that facility in that capacity,” said Heather Grenier, chief executive officer at the HRDC.

But some neighbors have pushed back.

“Generally speaking, obviously we’ve talked a lot about the proximity to the elementary school which is 100 yards away,” said Culver.

The HRDC announced it has formally requested more time to review public comments and revise their management plan.

“You know, our goal is to be part of the neighborhood and be part of the solution,” said Grenier.

“So any concerns that are voiced that we can address either through our management plan or how we’re operating the site, we absolutely want to do that.”

In the meantime, Christ the King Church will serve as the overflow location for the warming center.

The HRDC says they plan on holding another public meeting in the future, but many neighbors stand unflinching, saying it’s a matter of location, not a matter of lack of compassion.

“The fundamental reasons why again the majority of the people in this area disagree with this location can’t be changed,” said Culver.

“You can’t change the location of the school. You can’t change the intersection. You can’t change the fact that people aren’t made to stay here, and that there’s no public transport within a quarter mile.”

The HRDC will continue to take questions and feedback from neighbors while plans are on hold.