Helena working group comes up empty on emergency shelter

While a storm dumped inches of snow outside, representatives of a working group formed months ago to generate potential emergency shelter options for this winter told the Helena City Commission they have no immediate solution for housing the city’s unsheltered during the day.

Our Place, a drop-in center for people with mental health or substance abuse issues in Helena at 631 N. Last Chance Gulch, is being considered to serve as a temporary emergency shelter this winter.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

The administrative meeting took place Wednesday afternoon in City-County Building room 326, a large-but-cramped conference room lined with windows facing the building’s roof and west wing.

The city commissioners in early August offered up $100,000 in savings generated by American Rescue Plan Act spending to fund a viable solution.

But United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area Community Impact Coordinator Jeff Buscher, who heads the working group, called the last three months a “painstaking process.”

“We didn’t get into this situation overnight,” Buscher said. “It takes time to do things right.”

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