City moves forward with Clark Fork Inn veteran housing

Bret Anne Serbin

The city’s Public Safety, Health and Operations Committee authorized spending $834,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to establish veterans’ transitional housing at the Clark Fork Inn motel during a meeting Wednesday.

“The move will elevate the Poverello Center’s ability to help veterans thrive and heal as they transition from homelessness to stable housing,” said Tracy Pohndorf, a grants administrator with the city.

The committee voted unanimously to authorize the ARPA expenditure.

The city originally approved the allocation last August as part of its annual budget, and the Pov got a bridge loan last December to buy the motel.

Now, the contract is ready to move forward with the purchase. The Poverello Center expects to move its veterans’ transitional housing program out of the shelter and into the motel by the end of 2024.

The Housing Montana Heroes program has operated onsite at the Poverello Center for the past eight years. Moving the program to a separate space is intended to reduce stress and provide private rooms for veterans in the program.

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