Housing Our Heroes: A Montana Shelter Helps Veterans Become Homeowners
On any given day an estimated 500 homeless people are on the streets or in the shelters of Missoula, Montana—the University of Montana college town located in the Northern Rocky Mountains. The homeless population in Missoula is not homogenous; people have their own needs and their own stories. But many of them share a common experience: They served in the U.S. military.
Among the nearly 550,000 people in the U.S. who are homeless, 11 percent are veterans, according to the 2014 Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. In Montana, a state that has a disproportionately high number of servicemen and servicewomen, that number climbs to between 20 and 30 percent.
For many of these veterans, the Poverello Center, a nonprofit that works with Missoula’s homeless population, is a way back to independent living.