For over 40 years, the Poverello Center has provided a necessary safety net for our community members living in hunger and homelessness. An award winning non-profit organization, the Poverello Center provides education, advocacy, and a multitude of services to improve the health, well-being, and stability of people struggling with poverty in Missoula.

Mission Statement

The Poverello Center provides food, shelter, help and hope to all who ask.

Vision Statement

The Poverello Center believes all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their housing status.  We envision a collaborative and supportive community in which everyone has a safe place to call home.


Offering food, shelter, help and hope to all who ask.

As a helping organization, it is our intention to understand and meet the needs of our clients as well as to understand the larger causes of poverty and homelessness in our community. We do this work to assist our clients in becoming independent and to promote a healthy and sustainable way of life for all those whom we serve.


Philosophy of Care

The Philosophy of Care aims to unify the diverse employees of the Poverello Center to accomplish the organization’s mission and vision through:

  • Maintaining a humble awareness that we are gatekeepers to resources, responsible for opening doors, not keeping them closed.
  • Compassionate engagement, empathizing with people in the environment in which they survive.
  • A stabilizing place for resources and relationships centered on accountability and trust.
  • Cultivating socially just relations among all people regardless of status or identity.
  • Recognizing people as dignified individuals and advocating for human agency.
  • Exercising compassion for oneself and one another.

Our History

In 1974, a group of community members united to create The Poverello Center.  The organization was established as a ministry to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless in the Franciscan spirit of peace and care for others. In the last four decades our organization has grown from a simple mission to a lifelong cause – working to alleviate the experience of poverty and homelessness in our community.

Contact Us Today

Jill Bonny: Executive Director

Jill Bonny is the is the Executive Director of the Poverello Center.  Jill earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Montana. Growing up in Montana, Jill has always been involved as a volunteer in hospitals, nursing homes, fire departments, local coalitions, and currently is the Vice President of the NASW-MT Board of Directors. Jill joined the Poverello in the fall of 2014 as a practicum student while earning her social work degree. When she is not working, Jill enjoys spending time with her husband and children on their “little farm” in the Bitterroot Valley.

Kristen Border Patton: Director of Operations

Kristen Patton is the Director of Operations at the Poverello Center. She graduated from the University of Montana with a bachelor’s degree in political science and began working at the Pov in 2009 as the Administrative Assistant. Kristen has completed graduate courses in Human Resource Management, Technical Writing and Non-Profit Management while working at the Pov. In her spare time Kristen enjoys golfing, fishing and spending time with her rabbit and husband.

Jesse Jaeger: Director of Development & Advocacy

Jesse Jaeger is the Director of Development & Advocacy for the Poverello Center. Jesse has over 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector working most recently as the Operations Director for Empower Montana. He is a graduate of the University of Montana and has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. As the Director of Development & Advocacy Jesse leads the Poverello Centers fundraising efforts, works to empower voices of the Poverello Center’s clients and staff on policy issues impacting them and helps tell the story of the Poverello Center to the wider community. When not at work you can find Jesse hanging out with his wife and two kids in Montana’s beautiful outdoors, riding his motorcycle on twisty back roads and volunteering with many different community groups in Missoula.

Lisa Sirois: Director of Programs

Lisa Sirois is the Director of Programs for the Poverello Center. Her favorite part of her current role is being able to support staff in completing the difficult work they do each day. Lisa completed her Master of Social Work degree in 2019 through the University of Montana, but first came to Missoula for a Jesuit Volunteer/AmeriCorps position volunteering with the Poverello in 2015. Ever since, she has continued to serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness in different capacities throughout the Missoula community. Lisa is passionate about combating homelessness and poverty in her community and is glad to continue this work today. When not at work, Lisa can be found playing board games or exploring Montana with her partner and friends, cuddling with her dog and cat, or knitting while enjoying some bad tv or reading a good book.

Clair Bopp: Shelter Manager

Clair Bopp is the Shelter Manager at the Poverello Center. She started at the Poverello Center in 2015 as a practicum student, has worked as a full time case manager, and more recently took over as the Shelter Manager. She has an undergraduate degree in history from Kalamazoo College and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Montana. If she could start all over, she would be an art collector with a condo in Miami.

Jared Bell: Food Programs Manager

Jared Michael Bell is the Food Programs Manager at the Poverello Center. He has been with the Pov since early 2018, starting as the Food Rescue Truck Driver. He strives to provide nutritious and delicious meals to those in need, fighting food insecurity. In his free time he writes and produces music, fishes, hunts, spends time with buddies, and “kicks out the jams”.

Alena Gostnell: Veteran Programs Manager

Alena is the Veteran Programs Manager, working with Housing Montana Heroes, the Veteran Shelter Program and Valor House.  Alena served in the Air Force during Operation Desert Storm which plays a large part in why she works with this population. Alena started with The Poverello Center as a practicum student from 2017-2019. She started as a case manager after graduating with her Master’s in Social Work degree from the University of Montana. Alena currently is working toward her LCSW to provide clinical services for the veterans she serves. She has lived in Montana most of her life and still enjoys the beauty of the state. In her free time, she enjoys camping, photography and spending time with family.

Zac Mauldin: Volunteer Coordinator

Zac Mauldin is originally from Oklahoma City, OK, and has a diverse background in health education, hunger, and volunteerism. In 2015, he spent the majority of the year working in Whitefish, MT and fell in love with sustainable agriculture and local food systems. After working at Meals on Wheels People in Portland, OR for three years he moved back to the Big Sky Country where he now enjoys trail running, eclectic reading and listening, snuggling his dog Volta, and imbibing over a home-cooked meal of local ingredients.

Aicia Curran: Medical Respite Care Coordinator

Aicia Curran is the Medical Respite Care Coordinator at the Poverello Center. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Montana.


2021 Board of Directors

Liz Davies, LCSW, President

Kylie Gursky, Vice-President

Debra Lawton, Treasurer

Paul Barnes, Secretary

Chris Chitty

Rev. John Daniels

Sarah Ferguson

Craig Holtet

Tara Jensen

Randy Krastle

Salisha Tennison

Katie Veazey

Robin Turner


In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email:
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.