This is the phrase that Jill Holder kept repeating as she toured us around the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. Even though my husband volunteers for the Food Bank we were still amazed and impressed with all that they do in a very crowded space. With a bigger space indeed they could do better.

Then we toured the Warming Shelter. We were relieved when the overnight shelter opened several years ago so that we did not have to send the homeless to Butte or Billings, but we were shocked to see the crowded space and conditions of the shelter. There was no sink in the make shift kitchen, the overnight storage bins for the guests were housed in a very narrow crowded space, the main room filled with tightly spaced bunks.

Then we saw a room the size of a large residential bathroom that was used as a bathroom for disabled guests, a laundry facility, and a medical examining room. It could have been found in a third-world hostel. The director was clearly dedicated to her mission but spoke of the distress it caused her to have to turn away a person as the shelter was already full (capacity of 40) not knowing where they would have to spend the night.

Jill's phrase was often repeated here too: With a larger facility we can do better. A city the size of Bozeman definitely needs a better shelter, one that would live up to Bozeman's cache of being an ideal mountain town. We seem to do a good job of taking care of the recreational needs of the community. Now with the new HRDC building planned we can also take better care of our homeless population. Jill is right, we can do better.

Mary Bardone

Bozeman