Last week, KGVO News reported that the Poverello Center had received $1.4 million to develop the former Clark Fork Inn into transitional housing for homeless veterans.

On Wednesday, the Montana Department of Commerce announced that the project received another grant for $600,000 to help fund the project.

KGVO spoke with Cheryl Cohen, Housing Division Administrator for the Montana Department of Commerce who shared the good news for the Poverello Center project.

“We had an application round for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for community facilities, public facilities, and housing,” began Cohen. “The Department of Commerce announced yesterday that four Montana communities will share more than $2 million of the federal grant funding through that CDBG program. So the Department of Commerce is providing $600,000 of CDBG housing grant funding for the expansion of the Poverello Center that will provide homes and supportive services to veterans in Missoula County.”

Cohen said there is always a great deal of competition for the CDBG funding, but the Poverello Center’s application stood out from the others due to the amount of community support.

“We do usually have quite a bit of competition for these funds,” she said. “One of the interesting factors about the Community Development Block Grant is the eligible applicants are the units of local government,  meaning counties and cities, and something that really stood out about Missoula County's application is the degree to which their community really came together around this Poverello Center project for formerly homeless veterans.”

Tapping again on the community-wide flavor of the application, Cohen said both city and state agencies are coming together to help the project happen.

“The Poverello Center manages the “Housing Montana Heroes’ program that serves veterans experiencing homelessness, she said. “This project has support not only now from the Department of Commerce but also from the city of Missoula, Missoula County, and other resources as well so it was a real collaborative effort.”

Cohen also gave the State of Montana Commerce Department’s blessing on the project.

“It's a priority to serve homeless individuals and homeless veterans are certainly a high priority for the Department of Commerce,” she said. “This project will not only provide 20 units of transitional housing for veterans with case management, but it will also free up additional shelter space for other individuals who are experiencing homelessness in Missoula County. So not only is it supporting the veterans, but it's helping to meet the needs of non-homeless veterans in the community as well.”

Once the current residents of the Clark Fork Inn have been provided with permanent housing, each tenant at the Clark Fork Inn will pay a very low subsidized rent for up to two years.

The overall project is estimated to cost nearly $4.8 million.

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