by Travis Mateer
The harsh reality in Missoula is this: we can’t house everyone, despite continuing to fundraise and build emergency shelters intended to be short-term, transitional spaces for vulnerable populations in need, like families.
Last year the YWCA was raising millions to build a nice, new facility on 3rd street. Now they’re complaining about not being able to find housing for their families, resulting in moving them out after 90 days without a long-term solution.
With families on a waiting list to use the Meadowlark building, the YWCA is moving families out of the building who have been there longer than 90 days.
“The bigger problem here is we need more long-term solutions. The family housing here at the Meadowlark is really a short-term emergency housing program,” Margolis said. “It’s intended to be a quick stay.”
It sounds like a problem without an answer, but Margolis says otherwise.
“The families that we are working with often just can’t compete with other renters when they are applying for housing in Missoula,” Margolis said. “We really need more landlords and property management companies to partner with us and say, ’OK, I’m going to rent to these families, I’m going to take a leap of faith,’ even if they don’t have the best credit or renters history.”
I added the emphasis on what Becky Margolis claims they REALLY need (after they got 8 million from Missoula’s generosity) because I have a different idea about needs, and it goes a little something like this: Missoula needs to get FUCKING REAL about the on-the-ground reality people are experiencing before thinking HEY, I KNOW, AFGHAN REFUGEES!!!
On that front, here’s a different article about a different group of people in need that Missoula’s deeply caring community is flying into our housing crisis:
The first of 75 Afghans arrived in Missoula on Sunday. They came on Special Immigrant Visas and now, as humanitarian parolees through the Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) program.
At-risk Afghan Nationals are granted humanitarian parole status over fear for their lives as the Taliban takes over Afghanistan. The APA program is designed to provide refugees with resettlement services for 30-90 days after they arrive in the United States.
The emphasis on THIS excerpt highlights the SAME time-frame “humanitarian parolees” will have to compete with YWCA families for housing in Missoula. What happens to the refugees who don’t get into housing after 90 days? Where do they go? To the Poverello Center where meth heads sometimes threaten to stab babies in the womb?
If privileged Missoula virtue-signalers continue to ignore reality in their quest to save the world, people on the ground will get hurt. People are ALREADY getting hurt because our leaders are NOT BEING REALISTIC about dealing with the problems we ALREADY HAVE before bringing more people in need to our little valley.
I hope this changes. It probably won’t. Stay tuned.