by Travis Mateer
When the new Poverello Center was built on West Broadway, one of the features of the new facility was its on-site Veteran program. Visually, the most prominent part of the building is the atrium on the second floor built JUST FOR the Veterans using the program.
Well, sounds like that will be changing. Tucked away in an article about how the County plans to spend millions in ARPA funding, I found this tidbit (emphasis mine):
The shelter recently landed a $1 million grant and is looking to move its homeless veterans program from the shelter to another independent location. In partnership with other local entities, one particular hotel property on Broadway has come up in conversations, and it could be purchased to house the veterans program.
“By helping fund (the program), it would free up additional space in the shelter to help address some housing needs, and help the homeless veterans program find a permanent home,” said Lounsbury.
Wait, what? Is this quote referring to the Sleepy Inn, or is there ANOTHER nasty motel on Broadway that is being eyed for purchase?
And I’ll note once again that the Sleepy Inn is currently EMPTY because Missoula is apparently helpless without Uncle Sam’s $50,000 monthly dispersement.
While the population that was used to sell Missoula on a new emergency shelter is shifted to an off-site location, a new mobile housing team is being developed. From the link:
The city created a new housing team called the Housing Support Mobile Care Team. They’ll go to new homeless camps soon to be established by Operation Shelter, a city-county initiative, and existing homeless resources like the Poverello Center or winter emergency shelters. The goal is to connect the homeless with housing and services through the Missoula Coordinated Entry System.
Is this mobile housing team DIFFERENT than the Homeless Outreach Team? Why is another team needed? And how can they connect people to services if those services, like housing, don’t exist?
Maybe housing homeless people isn’t the actual goal. Maybe this is just a virtue-signaling scam to siphon more money for bullshit like this:
Emily Armstrong, the city’s Reaching Home program manager, said the city provided funding for the new team, and they’re waiting for the county’s contribution. We reached out to the city to see how much they spent on the team, and we’re waiting to hear back.
Armstrong says the bigger issue is equity.
Yes, EQUITY is the bigger issue, so it’s good that Emily Armstrong knows what the priorities are. Remember that Veteran and his rotting foot? He’s white, so fuck him. Another homeless man I’m hoping to interview is ALSO a white man.
I know! If enough homeless white men DIE then the numbers could look more equitable. Is that the plan?
Racial inequality is a great problem to focus on for systemic cogs like Emily Armstrong because it’s a problem that won’t be solved and is not intended to be solved. Instead, racial inequality is a convenient distraction from the socio-economic realities creating MASSIVE gaps in Missoula between the haves and the have nots.
I suspect that focusing on socio-economic realities instead of racial window-dressing might be detrimental to the 16 year reign of an administration that has grown Missoula’s homeless industrial complex while the actual problem gets worse and worse. This won’t change until Engen is no longer our Mayor.
Will that happen this year? Doubtful, but after today’s primary deadline, we will at least know which mayoral candidate will be moving on to the general.
So stay tuned…