Helena City Commission looks at options to help unsheltered population

Helena homeless camp
Posted at 6:20 PM, Oct 25, 2023

The Helena City Commission had an administrative meeting Wednesday where they discussed emergency shelter options for unsheltered people during winter weather.

MTN has been following the fate of a camp just south of Helena first started in the summer of 2023. At its peak, the camp was a safe place for dozens of people. On Wednesday morning, 11 remained but were moved out by 2:00 PM in accordance with orders from Sheriff Leo Dutton.

The City Commission currently has a team working to find temporary solutions: Good Samaritan has an open day center, and God’s Love and Our Place has overnight housing available. However, there are still limitations on how many people they can take in.

Caseworkers are working to find other options for individuals who are unable to access those locations, such as those who may present safety concerns to staff.

As of right now, there are no other known options, but the working team is trying to find viable facilities that meet liability standards: such as smoke detectors and fire sprinklers.

The mayor does not plan on making an emergency declaration, since it could lessen their options if they call an emergency in the future.

For those who want to help, Sheriff Leo Dutton said they should consider donating to organizations that serve the homeless: like Our Place, United Way, and God’s Love.