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The Bozeman Warming Center will open its doors for the winter in just a few days. And this year it will offer more beds and will be open for additional hours. That will move the Warming Center closer to the goal of creating a year-round, 24-7 homeless shelter. And that’s fast becoming essential in the face of skyrocketing housing costs and the growing numbers of homeless locally.

The center’s capacity is increased to 120 this year, with plans for overflow housing and housing for those with COVID-19 in motel rooms. The Human Resource Development Council, which operates the center, says it will offer daytime hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in addition to the nighttime hours from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

While giving people experiencing homelessness a place to warm up during the day, the expanded hours will give the people experiencing homelessness opportunities to shower, charge cellphones, seek counseling and conduct job searches. And that could make the difference for many who are seeking a permanent roof over their heads and stability in their lives.

HRDC is applauded for recognizing this growing problem and stepping up to find solutions. Not only is the Warming Center expanding services. The organization is about to place some people experiencing chronic homelessness in its first village of a dozen tiny homes near the Warming Center, with plans to build more in the future with the help of Habitat for Humanity.

HRDC tells us the area’s homeless population is not just transients or substance abusers. Many have jobs, some even two jobs. Some people experiencing homelessness provide the services we all use. They are simply caught up in what has become a housing affordability and availability crisis.

As the local housing challenges mount up, just ignoring them is not an option. Seven deaths among people experiencing homelessness were attributed to exposure to the elements last winter. HRDC and Habitat are performing a tremendous public service by addressing this challenging problem. And they can use our help.

Go to thehrdc.org and habitatbozeman.org to learn more about how you can help by donating or volunteering your time.


Editorial Board

  • Mark Dobie, publisher
  • Michael Wright, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Charles Rinker, community member
  • Will Swearingen, community member
  • Angie Wasia, community member

To send feedback on editorials, either leave a comment on the page below or write to citydesk@dailychronicle.com.

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Editorial Board

  • Mark Dobie, publisher
  • Michael Wright, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Will Swearingen, community member
  • Angie Wasia, community member

To send feedback on editorials, write to citydesk@dailychronicle.com.