New HUD program kicks off effort to get people off the streets - | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

New HUD program kicks off effort to get people off the streets

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The Montana Rescue Mission has teamed up with Volunteers of America,Tumbleweed, HRDC, and Housing Authority and Continuum of Care to lead an effort to help as many homeless individuals as possible. They're piloting a HUD coordinated entry program to get homeless people off the streets. Today is the kick-off for the efforts by having them apply for a new housing and urban development program being piloted by the Montana Rescue Mission.

MRM's rescue crew was sent out to talk with as many homeless people as possible and have them fill out an entry form. Program director Glenn Fournier said this would allow the person to be registered in the system to be considered for housing. He said the way it works is they will provide housing based on the vulnerability and severity of that person's current situation. Meaning, how likely they are to die on the streets.

The kick-off started with a BBQ today that provided hotdogs and hamburgers for anyone who attended. Fournier talks about the turnout.

"It's been pretty good actually," Fournier said. "It surprised me because it seemed kind of last minute. My street outreach was out and about a little bit the last couple days. We got the word out to various agencies. Other places have come today to help us with this so it's working out pretty good. We're pretty happy."

This program is being used is an in-depth assessment of the current homeless situation in the community and it will be conducted over the next few weeks.

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