Press Release – Tough Winter Season Creates Additional Financial Pressure For HRDC’s Already Stretched Thin Emergency Shelter Budget

HRDC logo. Text reads, HRDC, Building A Better Community.


February 22, 2023

Contact: Penny Johnson, Communications Manager, 303-828-8481

Bozeman, Montana — For the third time this winter season, HRDC issued a Code Blue notice at its shelter to provide those who are experiencing homelessness a safe respite from the region’s frigid temperatures. The current weather conditions place all community members at high risk for exposure-related injuries, especially those who are unsheltered and are living in make-shift settings in cars, campers, and other vehicles.

Photo of the inside of the warming center. There are a row of bunkbeds and desks in the photo.

When the Code Blue safety designation is deployed, HRDC’s shelter remains open around the clock and any guests with suspension notices are allowed to return to the shelter temporarily. In addition, HRDC’s staff members ramp up their street outreach efforts to encourage those without a roof over their heads to come into the shelter to ensure their safety. Given the below normal temperatures forecast over the next couple of days, Code Blue will remain in place until 9:00 am Friday morning.

Pushing HRDC’s shelter to its financial limit is the number of record low temperature days this winter. A significant increase in operating costs have been incurred in order to provide a warm, safe place to sleep for those who are most in need in our community. With occupancy rates remaining steady, the shelter houses upwards of 80 guests each evening, most of whom who are employed in the area but have been unable to secure affordable housing.

A handwritten note expressing gratitude towards the warming center and it's services.

Jenna Huey, HRDC’s Emergency Shelter Services Manager, discussed the Code Blue warning designation this morning saying, “Each time temperatures dip to these extremes, it is a costly but necessary action for us to keep our facility operating 24 hours a day. While our Bozeman Warming Center does not have the funding to be fully open during daytime hours, as always, our guests’ safety remains our top concern.”

Huey continued, “There is a big misperception in our community that HRDC’s emergency shelter is funded by a government entity. While we are very grateful for the investment the City made in our shelter for summer operations, our annual costs this year far exceed any funding provided. Our facility is highly dependent upon the generosity of donors across our community, and every donation truly makes a difference whether its $5 that can be used to purchase a warm pair of socks or $500 that be used toward keeping our building warm. We encourage everyone to consider giving to our shelter to help us meet the most basic of needs in our community.”

Cash donations to the Warming Center can be made online by visiting or can be submitted by mail to HRDC, c/o The Warming Center, 32 S. Tracy Avenue, Bozeman, MT 59715.

Logo for the HRDC Warming Center. Logo is of a house. The text reads, Warming Center, A Program of HRDC.
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Brooke Poole

Public Sector

Since 2015, Brooke has been working with Allergan Aesthetics, Body Contouring. In 2018, Brooke began her role as Senior Manager of Training. Brooke graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Commercial Photography from Appalachian State University in 2011.

Brooke began her role on our Board in 2019. However, she feels it’s more fitting to say that she gets to serve on our Board. For Brooke, an evening at our Fork & Spoon was her first glance into our organization’s powerful work. As Brooke states, joining the Board has only expanded her appreciation for the caliber of people leading our mission and the impact of our vast ecosystem of services. While metrics alone are impressive, Brooke likes to visualize each number as an individual example of support – an extension of a helping hand, a moment of relief – given to one of our neighbors. She is grateful for the opportunity to participate in shaping HRDC’s future.

Although Brooke spends most of her volunteer time with HRDC, she was fortunate enough to build with Habitat for Humanity over the course of the summer in 2020. Her favorite place to spend time is anywhere under the Big Sky, although Hyalite may be her favorite place on Earth.

Ron Brey

Public Sector

Ron served as Bozeman’s Assistant City Manager from 1990 to 2008. After retiring, Ron joined our Board in 2011. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Montana in 1977, and his Masters in Science in Rural, Town, and Regional Planning from the University of Montana in 1987.

During his time with the City of Bozeman, Ron saw the important role that HRDC has played in our community. Ron has seen that HRDC provides necessary social services to assure that all Bozeman residents could obtain housing, food, training, employment and the other necessities of life. He also came to understand that HRDC was always able to respond immediately as new community needs arose. Ron believes that the dedication, hard work, and compassion of HRDC’s staff make it a real honor to serve on the Board.

Ron also serves on the Trails, Open Space and Parks Committee for the City of Bozeman, and as a volunteer with the Red Cross. One of Ron’s favorite activities is walking his beloved dog every day, enjoying many of Bozeman’s trails and parks, like Burke Park, Bozeman Creek, and the Hyalite and Mount Ellis areas. Ron and his wife Claire enjoy spending their days with family, friends, and time outdoors.