The Missoula Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously today to provide $20,400 in community building grants to the Poverello Center. The money will help transform the basement of the existing Ryman Street homeless shelter into a daytime drop-in center.
“We’re just glad we could help, “ says Commissioner Michelle Landquist.
The Pov was scrambling to find a place to accommodate its daytime drop-in facilities, the Salcido Center, after First Baptist Church announced earlier this year it would not renew the Pov’s lease when it expires in December.
Poverello Center Executive Director Ellie Hill says the grants will be used to create a separate entrance into the existing Poverello Center’s basement. The basement will serve as a stand-alone drop-in center and remain detached from the rest of the facilities. Partitioning the two is necessary, Hill says, because intoxicated guests are not allowed at the overnight shelter. The mandate differs from that of the Salcido Center, where no one is turned away.
Hill says she isn’t the only one relieved the Salcido Center is finding a permanent home in the same location it’s occupied for more than three decades.
“Everybody loves the Pov,” she says. “But nobody wants us next to them.”