Greg Strandberg’s Willful Ignorance On Homelessness And Addiction Is A Political Strategy

by William Skink

Why does Greg Strandberg continue to throw around bullshit numbers about homelessness in Missoula? I don’t know, the usually prolific spammer of other sites doesn’t often respond when I call him out, like I’ve had to do multiple times in the past.  

In 2016, when Strandberg was trying to transform his online trolling into a Council job, I wrote this post.

The following year I wrote another post about Strandberg’s ignorance. And this one. And this one. Last year I finally had to acknowledge that the ignorance is willful.

This latest post, though, is a real piece of crap. First, Strandberg claims there are over 200 people who sleep at the Poverello Center each night. Nope. Last year the Pov put a cap on how many they could serve, and that number is 175 people. Strandberg further claims there are over 125 people at the Reserve Street camps. I would like to know how he arrived at that number because it’s not accurate. I say that having years of direct experience doing outreach for the homeless shelter. There has never been close to 100 people in that area.

Then there are the jail numbers. Strandberg again makes an unsubstantiated claim about the jail being 120 people over capacity. He bases this on being “pretty confident” the state inmates aren’t accounted for in the jail roster. I am also “pretty confident” he is wrong about that, like he’s wrong about so much else in this post.

Despite parroting the Seattle is Dying claim that Seattle has a drug problem, not a homeless problem, Strandberg still focuses the majority of his criticism on Missoula’s homeless shelter, blaming it for the problems in the neighborhood and insinuating the Pov is getting rich on homelessness. One way Strandberg accomplishes this insinuation is by describing the Pov’s funding as “revenue”. 

Maybe Strandberg doesn’t understand the difference between for-profit businesses and non-profits. If he did he would understand why the term “revenue” is misleading. Here is a definition of revenue:

The income generated from sale of goods or services, or any other use of capital or assets, associated with the main operations of an organization before any costs or expenses are deducted. Revenue is shown usually as the top item in an income (profit and loss) statement from which all charges, costs, and expenses are subtracted to arrive at net income.


The Pov, as a non-profit, gets funding, not revenue, and it gets funding from city/county/federal sources in addition to donations from individuals. The idea that anyone at the Pov is there doing the work because of the money is not just laughable, it’s downright offensive. But that’s what Greg Strandberg does, he tries to be purposely offensive in order to get attention.

I don’t have patience when my 8 year old pulls this kind of shit, and even less so when an alleged adult is doing it.

Another area where Strandberg is full of it is the idea that there are just plenty of options for addicts to get treatment in Montana. There are not. The programs Strandberg references are option AFTER crimes have been committed and a person is facing prison. This distinction is important because all the studies show it would be more cost effective to provide treatment options BEFORE crimes have been committed.

The Montana options for in-patient treatment before the criminal justice system is triggered is essentially Rimrock in Billings, MCDC in Butte and Recovery Center in Missoula (I may be missing something, and if I am, I will update this post). There are less than 200 beds in the entire state. And how many people go through an addiction? Here’s a quote from the National Institutes of Health

A survey of American adults revealed that drug use disorder is common, co-occurs with a range of mental health disorders and often goes untreated. The study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that about 4 percent of Americans met the criteria for drug use disorder in the past year and about 10 percent have had drug use disorder at some time in their lives.

Montana has a population of around 1 million people, so, based on the conclusion of this study, that means around 100,000 people in Montana have had a drug use disorder at some point in their life.

Are less than 200 beds enough for the amount of people struggling with an addiction in Montana?

The quick answer is no.

I’m getting really tired of writing this same post about Strandberg’s ignorance over and over again. Because it’s not ignorance. It’s purposeful opportunism as he plans another run at local office. But like all his other failed attempts to get government benefits, it won’t work.


About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to Greg Strandberg’s Willful Ignorance On Homelessness And Addiction Is A Political Strategy

  1. Last June when I went down to the Reserve Street Homeless Camp, I was told that 75 to 100 people were living there before the floods, and probably 25 after. I don’t know how many are there now, as I haven’t been down there. I think it’d make a good story if you went down there and got some information for us.

    If you go to page 6 of the Pov’s 33-page financial statement for 2018 you’ll see that it clearly states “total public support and revenues.” I don’t think many people are concerned about the semantics of it, however.

    • I’m going to take my own experience and conversations I’ve had with people recently over what someone told you last June.

      what accounts for the rest of your sloppy “reporting”? you actually research the details of campaign reports, but can’t google a few stories to make sure on this topic your numbers are accurate?

      you have been purposefully misleading and intentionally offensive in your writing about homelessness over the years. I’ll keep pointing out the specifics of your shitty, opportunistic commentary as long as you keep producing it.

  2. I’ll look forward to reading your future posts on the subject, as well as the other topics you cover.

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