HELENA, Mont. – Low temperatures and heavy snowfall have created unsafe conditions for Butte’s homeless population, and the Department of Commerce is helping the community to address it by awarding grant funds to operate a shelter this winter.
The funds will be awarded to Butte-Silver Bow County through the Community Development Block Grant program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“The CDBG program helps communities across Montana provide services for their most vulnerable residents,” said Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote. “Although most CDBG projects are planned in advance, extreme weather created an urgent situation in Butte. Fortunately, everyone involved has been able to move quickly for the health and safety of Butte’s homeless population.”
Action, Inc., a local nonprofit organization, recently opened the shelter in a vacant facility previously used for transitional housing. This is the first time a shelter has operated in Butte since April 2017.
Butte-Silver Bow County will receive $200,000 in CDBG funds. Local contributions from the city-county government and Action, Inc., will match the award with another $277,340. Combined, it will be enough to operate the shelter until May.
For the long term, Butte-Silver Bow County and the Continuum of Care Coalition are developing plans for a permanently sustainable shelter.