The Poverello Center is a short term emergency shelter. Despite capacity for only 70 overnight shelter guests, the Pov routinely sleeps up to 100 homeless individual men and women each and every night, and often in the most inclement weather conditions. Services provided free of charge in the shelter include: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as access to sack lunches, storage space for personal belongings, computers, phone, mail, bus passes, showers, laundry facilities, clothing, intake and referral services, and a Health Care for the Homeless Clinic operated by Partnership Health Center.
The Ryman Street facility is staffed by well trained, professional intake workers and support staff twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. There are two intake and referral specialist that conduct intakes throughout the day providing basic case management and referrals for clients and residents. All residents must be checked in by 7:30 p.m. In order to stay at the shelter, residents must agree to basic rules, including refraining from the use of drugs and alcohol to enter into the facility. We required that residents complete one chore for their previous night of stay to keep the building clean and running smoothly and to create an environment of accountability and respect. The shelter beds provide short term, emergency housing, and an interim solution for homeless individuals who are seeking more permanent housing.
Food Insecurities Programs
The Pov operates Missoula's primary soup kitchen. We open our doors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. This amounts to over 130,000 meals to Missoula’s hungry and homeless each and every year - with over one million meals sered since 2005.
The food is nutritious, tasty, and the bulk of it is provided by donations from the community at large, as well as through collaborations with the Missoula Food Bank, the Montana Food Bank Network, Garden City Harvest, the commodities program, and local restaurants and businesses.
The Pov also participates with the Missoula Food Bank in the Grocery and Food Rescue Program. Our truck goes out five days a week to collect food from area grocery stores and restaurants and served to the impoverished and homeless, thereby salvaging hundreds of thousands of pounds of usable food from the landfill each year.
For many, the meals at the Poverello are the only hot meal they get each day. Elderly individuals on fixed incomes, our urban neighbors in low-income housing, the mentally and physically disabled, as well as families living on the fringe depend upon the Pov's Food Insecurity Programs for the nourishment they need.
We rely heavily on volunteers to help operate the kitchen and the food pantry. Volunteers fill a huge need in preparing food in the morning for afternoon and evening meals. At lunch and dinner times, volunteers assist in serving meals to residents and community members. The food pantry is open seven days a week to the public. Only with the help of our dedicated volunteers are we able to provide this vital service. Individuals volunteering their time make it possible for our food programs to operate 365 days a year.
Homeless Veterans Programs
Between 150,000 and 200,000 veterans of the United States Armed Forces are homeless on any given night, and one-third of homeless men are veterans, including combat veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Nearly 400,000 veterans will experience homelessness during the course of a year.
30% of the Poverello Center's clients are veterans.
Through a longstanding partnership with the United States Veterans Administration, the Poverello Center offers outreach, case management, supportive services, and housing to homeless veterans throughout Western Montana. The Pov receives a per diem from the federal government for veterans enrolled in the Homeless Veterans Programs.
Through an on-site collaboration with the Partnership Health Center, the Poverello Center has been delivering healthcare for the homeless in downtown Missoula for ten years. Located inside the Ryman Street shelter, this medical clinic centralizes services for anyone who is homeless-there is never a charge for this care.
A Case Manager from Western Montana Mental Health Care's PATH team are on-site daily to meet with homeless individuals living with a mental illness providing access to housing, treatment programs, therapy, and many other services. The PATH team works closely with the Poverello Staff to provide the best support for those individuals living with a mental illness.