Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - It was announced this week that due to the bitterly cold temperatures in Missoula this weekend, the Johnson Street Warming Shelter will do its best to provide a warm place to sleep for any individual 18 or older.

KGVO News spoke to Stephanie Dolan, Director of Development at the Poverello Center about the extra effort being extended through this cold snap.

The Shelter will Turn No One Away During this Cold Snap

“We have been open since October 31,” began Dolan. “We have been seeing more clients this year than we have in years past and now we're serving about double the capacity than we have last year at this time. I mean it is obviously a lot colder. But we are at almost full capacity here. We're using every usable sleepable and suitable space so that people have a warm place to come in from the elements.”

Dolan said Poverello Center officials were at the Johnson Street Shelter to determine how they can accommodate more people.

“We're actually reviewing right now,” she said. “Our executive director is here with our shelter director and they are trying to figure out where we can put more people. We definitely were thankful that we have not had to turn anybody away. We do have space for everybody who's coming. But we like I said, we're using every suitable and sleepable spot and just trying to find more spaces where we can keep people.”

They Offer one Hot Meal a Day, Sack Lunches, Hot Coffee and Cocoa

Dolan detailed some of the services available at the Johnson Street Shelter.

“At the Johnson Street Shelter we do serve one hot meal a day,” she said. “We also have breakfast coffee and hot water going at all times for folks. We're trying to serve sack lunches and any other kind of food that we can provide. As you know, with inflation food costs are high. It's really a stretch for us to be serving as many people as we are, so we could definitely use any help that anybody wants to give us at this point.”

Dolan wants the public to know that the shelter has many immediate needs to serve the houseless in Missoula.

They Desperately Need Blankets, Towels, Coats and Gloves

“What we're really looking for are blankets and sheets and towels,” she said. “If someone wants to donate a blanket, we're so grateful but what's really helpful is a blanket that can go in the washer and dry quickly in the dryer. Quilts are great, but we have a couple of washers here that are going 24/7 literally, and it takes a long time to dry blankets, so any kind of blanket that dries quickly would be useful. We need coats, boots, hand warmers and gloves, but we’re in desperate need of hand warmers and gloves.”

Anyone wishing to donate money can visit the Poverello Center website, and those who wish to donate blankets and clothing can take them directly to the Johnson Street Warming Shelter at 1914 North Avenue West.

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