Support Local Journalism


Subscribe


Those of us who have been fortunate enough to go on with life without an emotional, housing or food security crisis may not even know the Help Center exists. But for those who haven’t been so lucky, it may have made the difference between life and death — for 50 years.

That’s a half century this local nonprofit has been quietly fielding phone calls for those contemplating taking their own lives. And it has evolved to do so much more. Available 24-7, 365 days a year, the center provides counseling for sexual assault victims or those in need of emergency help with food, housing and so much more. It has also partnered with other are nonprofits to answer some of the more urgent needs of the community.

To access that help, one just needs to dial 2-1-1.

Volunteers are given 60 hours of training on how to interact with individuals in crisis — how to talk them down from the precipice or steer them toward other sources of help. It’s one of those things that are impossible to measure, but the Help Center certainly must be responsible for saving many lives over the five decades of its existence.

In recent years, the center’s volunteers have fielded an average of 900 calls a month, but that number has jumped by about 10% during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Those volunteers were also instrumental for more than 500 callers during the Bridger Canyon wildfire last September.

As part of its 50-year celebration, the center has set a goal of raising $50,000 from 50 new donors to help fund its operations. To donate, or to volunteer to help staff the center’s phone lines or provide other services, visit https://www.bozemanhelpcenter.org/ or call the center’s non-emergency number at (406) 586-3333 for more information. The center also welcomes walk-in traffic at its unimposing 421 E. Peach St location.

We have come to rely on government for many services when we are confronted with challenges. But non-governmental organizations have been instrumental in filling in the gaps. The Help Center has certainly been high on the list of those agencies locally.

Congratulations on thriving for 50 years and here’s looking at many more years to come.


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.

Support Local Journalism

To see what else is happening in Gallatin County subscribe to the online paper.


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.