Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - I just learned of a fund used by the Missoula United Way that helps individuals and families facing homelessness in a variety of ways, with complete accountability, called the Housing Solutions Fund.

I spoke to Susan Hay Patrick, CEO of the Missoula United Way on Friday about an $80,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines and Wells Fargo through the Member Impact Fund.

The United Way's Housing Solutions Fund Receives an $80,000 Grant

“We were really delighted and honored to receive an $80,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank in Des Moines, Iowa,” began Hay Patrick. “It is part of a sort of community-building initiative that they're engaging in. We were one of a number of nonprofits in this region that partnered with local lending institutions to apply for this grant, and we are going to be using it for our Housing Solutions Fund.”

Hay Patrick said these funds go to help local individuals and families in a variety of ways.

The Funds Help Missoulians in Need in a Variety of Ways

“It goes for things like first and last month's rent, a security deposit, maybe payment of a utility bill in arrears,” she said. “In addition, sometimes when we have verified that there is somebody in another community that wants to receive a relative or a friend back in that community and has a job for them and sources of support, we will pay for a bus ticket for family reunification.”

Hay Patrick provided a capsule history of how the Housing Assistance Fund has been used.

“In the last several years from November of 2019 to 2021 to January of 2024, we spent $345,000, with an average expenditure of less than $700,” she said. “With those funds, we have helped 500 people get into housing or have prevented them from falling into homelessness, and that is something we are really proud of.”

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She said the Funds Never go to Individuals to Ensure Accountability

Hay Patrick was careful to point out that no monies from the Housing Solutions Fund go to any individual, so there is accountability.

“I'm sure you're familiar with the recent study that economist Bryce Ward did about the economic impacts of homelessness in our community,” she said. “One of the things he said was an antidote was more emergency assistance, and that's what we're providing through this fund. Payments go not to individuals; rather payments go to landlords, to property managers, to landlords for rent, and directly to utility companies. That way, there's accountability at every step of the way.”

Click here to give directly to the Housing Solutions Fund that will be used here in Missoula County.


Gallery Credit: KC

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