Missoula’s Poverello Center has begun to limit the number of homeless people it will take in through the summer. Poverello Center Executive Director Amy Thompson says the decision was made after months of discussions following a surge in use last winter.

"In February we actually had reached 205 people staying overnight in the shelter," Thompson said. "We learned pretty quick this winter that that was just far and beyond our capacity both physically, and also in terms of safety for both staff and clients, and then financially as well."

The new limits are different for summer and winter. The winter population cap is 175, but the summer is only 150.

"At this moment, we are really seeing around 150 people per night, so it is really in line with what we are able to provide at this moment," Thompson said. "We know that in the winter time we will see that number go up. last winter we were seeing about an average of 175."

Thompson says there will be a lottery each day for bed space. The population cap will be raised to 175 when the overnight temperature is Missoula is consistently around 32 degrees

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