Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Jim Hicks, Executive Director of the Hope Rescue Mission, the charity behind the TSOS (Temporary Safe Outdoor Space) appeared on Wednesday’s Talk Back show to answer questions from listeners and provide an update on their many efforts in the community.

Hicks said the original TSOS facility just off Highway 93 South near the Buckhouse Bridge came about due to a generous gift from a landowner.

Hope Rescue Mission Director Jim Hicks on Talk Back

“Some very generous partners at Blue Line development offered this property for $1 a year for this Temporary Safe Outdoor Space,” began Hicks. “We joke with Blue Line that we negotiated down to 78 cents a year, but they were very generous to let us come there and according to the county and its regulations, we could only have 20 sites. In addition, the money that helped stand this up was all COVID funds.”

Hicks said those who are in the new hard-sided shelters that replaced the tents off Brooks are all working towards specific goals to emerge successfully from being homeless.

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The TSOS has a Specific Purpose to Help the Homeless

"Our whole challenge is the trifecta of affordable housing, mental illness, and addiction," Hicks said. "They'll come to us for various reasons and we want to help them. Our goal here is helping them to recover so that they can have a job and they can move forward.”

Hicks said the Hope Rescue Mission has a unique fundraiser due to the fact that he hates making speeches at banquets and asking for money.

“We are using the Nine Mile Community Center, and we've got two gravel routes for bikers," Hicks said. "One is a 50 mile with about 4,000 feet of climbing. Another one's a 30-mile route with about 3,000 feet of climbing. We also have an option for people to hike to McCormick Peak or shorter family routes. We call it ‘HopeSufferFest’ and the suffering on the ride but the tagline too, was ‘suffering for those through these events that we like for those that are suffering during the winter.”

Hicks said They Have a Special Partnership with the Poverello Center

Hicks said the partnership between the Hope Rescue Mission and the Poverello Center has been successful.

“Just to find out where they are and what the condition is, again working with the HOT team from the Poverello Center,” he said. “HOT means Homeless Outreach Team, whatever we can to help people. Both the Poverello Center and we were happy to say that in the last three years, there have been no deaths in the winter because of exposure, and that's the first time in a long time.”

Inside Look at the New TSOS Shelters

The Temporary Safe Outdoor Space new hard-sided shelter facility officially opened on Thursday, January 5. The TSOS is just off West Broadway near the new Trinity affordable housing complex.

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