October 22, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Penny Johnson, Communications Manager, 303-828-8481, firstname.lastname@example.org
Impending Weather Change Expected to Increase Need for Emergency Shelter Services in Gallatin County
BOZEMAN, MT — With the year’s first snow forecast to occur on Sunday, HRDC has been preparing its emergency shelter in Bozeman, The Warming Center, for additional guests. With upwards of 80 known people urban camping in and around the city, HRDC expects to see an increase in demand for overnight services.
“For folks whose campers or cars are not weatherized to withstand extreme temperatures, or for those who have been camping in tents, we are able to provide a warm, safe alternative year-round, and especially during inclement weather,” said Jenna Huey, HRDC’s Emergency Shelter Services Manager.
“The area’s exorbitant rents and housing costs have forced more individuals who live and work here to find unconventional ways to address their basic needs,” stated Brian Guyer, Housing Director for HRDC. Given the steady demand for overnight services during the shelter’s recent first-ever summer season, Guyer expects to see additional pressure this winter. “On average, we provided shelter to 80 people each night during the summer months. Some nights that number surged to 100 guests. We did not expect to see numbers that high and because of that, we believe we could reach our maximum guest capacity during the upcoming harsh winter months.”
With that in mind, Guyer and Huey are working on contingency plans with other community partners should demand exceed the 120-bed capacity at the shelter. Gallatin Valley has experienced an escalating number of deaths over the past several years due to exposure. These often-preventable deaths are unacceptable to HRDC which fundamentally believes everyone deserves to be warm at night.
Guyer and Huey are united in their gratitude for the generosity of residents throughout Gallatin Valley. Both recognize that HRDC’s Warming Center would not be in a position to support so many of our neighbors in need without the steady stream of volunteer support and monetary donations it receives, including the contributions made toward the center’s current fall supply drive.*
With winter weather in the forecast for the foreseeable future and a shortage of affordable homes, indoor refuge at the Warming Center is a necessity now more than ever.
For more information about HRDC’s Warming Center, visit https://thehrdc.org/housing/homeless-services/emergency-shelter/bozeman-shelter/.
Please consider supporting our Supply Drive for the Warming Center, visit https://thehrdc.org/supplydrive/ to learn how to donate supplies or other ways to donate.