Reports: Missoula has spent roughly $60K on unsheltered living cleanup costs

David Erickson

Two recent reports from the city highlight both the efforts to address the affordable housing crisis here and the scale of how many people are still grappling with finding a stable place to live.

The city of Missoula compiles a weekly “urban camping report,” although the word “camping” doesn’t accurately describe the situation of people who are living unsheltered in Missoula due to a severe region-wide lack of affordable housing.

In total, the city has spent about $60,000 for cleanup costs associated with moving people from places they’re living in the public right-of-way. In many cases people simply move from one site to another.

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For the week ending Aug. 25, the city documented 33 complaints in the public right-of-way related to people living unsheltered.

The city, working with the Missoula Irrigation District, cleaned up 11 “encampments” in and around the irrigation ditch near the intersection of California and Russell streets that week. Over the course of two days, the people living there were told to move to other places.

“Site had structures including docks and porches, as well as diversions of water from the ditch (and)

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