Citing cold nights ahead, the Poverello Center and City of Missoula announced during a City Council meeting on Wednesday that the Johnson Street Warming Center will remain open through the month of April.

Jeremy Jaeger with the Poverello Center explained the decision.

“We knew that April is still very much a challenging month, particularly at night,” said Jaeger. “It can still get dangerously cold in April here in Montana, and in a conversation with our friends over at the Human Resource Council through this winter, they were able to secure us funding to be able to extend that shelter for overnight purposes only through April.”

Jaeger provided some statistics for the shelter over the winter.

“We've served a little over 450 unique individuals since November 1 when the winter shelter opened,” he said. “We've been averaging about 120 people a night. What happened was that it started off kind of slow but after we got that big cold spell a few weeks ago, a lot of people came in and have stayed in.”

Jaeger said their outreach team has been successful in bringing more homeless people to the shelter.

“There have been some successes,” he said. “I was just talking to our homeless outreach team and they were very successful in getting people to come into our shelter that were sleeping in the Reserve Street camps and in some of the other encampments. The last report was that we've only had about four or five people staying down in the Reserve Street camps while those people came into our shelter, which is good.”

Jaeger said the residents at the shelter have just had their first COVID immunization clinic.

“We actually just had our first vaccine clinic at Johnson Street there today,” he said. “We had 36 clients vaccinated at that clinic, and that's a big success. We're going to be working with Partnership Health Center to try to get more folks vaccinated as we move through this time, and that's just going to give us more ability to serve more people.”

The extension is made possible by funding offered by the Human Resource Council based in Missoula.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

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