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People waited outside the Human Resource Development Council’s Warming Center Thursday morning. Inside, two people gathered things like tents, sleeping bags and other supplies.

Adam Poeschl, warming center manger, opened the door around 10 a.m. with a fresh pot of coffee for those waiting to get in. He handed one man a cup full of a different hot drink.

“He gave me hot chocolate because he knows I don’t drink coffee,” the man said.

The people lined up were there to grab the supplies they’d need after the nonprofit closed its Bozeman and Livingston centers for overnight shelter on Wednesday to prevent the spread of coronavirus. HRDC said it was concerned with its inability to space sleeping bunks at the shelters in line with Center for Disease Control recommendations.

The organization gave out gear to about 15 people on Wednesday. By 10:30 a.m. Thursday, another 10 people were lined up outside.

Staff limited the number of people coming in to grab supplies, but they tried to keep everyone happy.

“The tough thing is there’s literally no place for people to go and warm up,” Poeschl said. “Even though we could only take two at a time right now, we’re kind of in a bad spot for folks.”

The nonprofit is trying to meet the needs of those who are experiencing homelessness and the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic.

In Bozeman, the organization continues to offer showers, restrooms, wellness checks and appropriate gear from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Livingston shelter will house guests in other locations and provide appropriate gear as needed.

The nonprofit said the services it offers follow guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, including cleaning, increased hand washing, social distancing and limiting contact between people.

The nonprofit has had to make other modifications to its programs. It stopped weather-proofing houses until March 27 and suspended all senior behavioral health home visits. The organization said it’s calling at-risk seniors to ensure they have what they need.

Fork and Spoon has transitioned to take-out meals and the business will continue to be open from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The lobby, bathrooms and dining area are closed.

The nonprofit’s Galavan and Streamline buses are still running. However, Streamline buses have suspended 30-minute frequency for blue, red, yellow and orange lines until further notice. Streamline’s Montana State University campus and Bridger Bowl shuttles have been canceled because of closures at those two places.

The “LateNight” bus to and from downtown Bozeman is canceled this weekend and tentatively canceled for the following weekend. The nonprofit has also started handing at meals at local schools.

Since the closure of the overnight shelter, the nonprofit has received donations of tents, sleeping bags, hand warmers and extra blankets to hand out to people in need. In a news release, HRDC asked those interested in contributing to consider donating money and said it would reach out if there is a need for specific items.

On Thursday, the group waiting outside walked over to a car pulling into a parking spot. The car belonged to Alicia Watts. She brought tarps, sleeping bags and hand warmers. The group helped her unload.

Watts volunteers with the warming center and has come to love and enjoy being with the people she helps there. She wanted to donate because she felt sad knowing how cold it is outside.

“As a community, we come together and show our homeless population we do care about them. It’s a dangerous time to be outside,” Watts said.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at or at 406-582-2630.