How it works
Imagine wandering the streets in the daytime, weighed down by all your possessions on your back. Or sleeping in your car, trying to navigate the mountains of paperwork and requirements for social services. Wondering whether the shelter will be open during the snow storm. Whether you’ll make it through the night in the freezing cold. Or whether you will survive but your feet won’t. This is the reality of being homeless in Bozeman, where our pet shelter is better funded than our shelter for people.
Cities and counties around the world have proven that the answer to homelessness is simple: give people housing. Once one has a safe place to be, they are better able to recover. From there, we can provide quality social support, which is essential in helping people transition out of emergency housing. Most local governments actually save money through reductions in emergency services. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.
In Bozeman we should:
- Create a partnership between the City, the County, and Bozeman Health, in which each funds a portion of the program’s expenses based on what they expect to save.
- Make housing for the homeless our first public housing program, and make building it a top priority.
- End homelessness by creating enough units for our entire homeless population.
- Distribute the yearly savings proportionally to each member of the partnership.
Did you know?
- The homeless in Montana on average die 30 years earlier than those with homes.
- Homelessness hits Montana’s Native Americans 3x worse than the rest of the population.
- Last year there were over 4,000 homeless students in Montana.
- Our Warming Shelter alone services over 300 people every year, the majority working, and many with kids.
- Montana spends about $30,000 per person every year in emergency services, none of which actually keep someone off the street.
- 75-90% of people are still in housing a year later in Housing First programs.
- Compared to standard programs, four cities in Canada nearly tripled the percentage of people who were able to stay in stable housing over two years.
- Permanent supportive housing, designed for those with chronic illness or long-term homelessness, has a long-term retention rate of 98%!
- Housing First programs have shown savings of at least $15,000 per person in social services alone.
How it benefits you
- It’s just the right thing to do, period.
- Thousands of families in Bozeman are a paycheck or two away from being on the street. That could be you. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you wouldn’t be at risk if it was?
- No one should spend the cold winter in Bozeman on the streets, or walking miles between the shelter, the library, the coffee shop, or a social services office, just trying to get help and stay alive. We have the resources to put an end to that.