BOZEMAN, Mont. – A former hotel in Bozeman is currently being used by the Human Resource Development Council in a variety of ways to provide non-congregate shelter for those who need it most but need some extra funding themselves.
The Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) entered a partnership with the Gallatin County Government to sponsor and apply to the Montana Department of Commerce for financial assistance from the Community Development Block Grant CARES Program (CDBG-CV) to purchase a hotel off Wheat Drive in Bozeman.
“It provides space for folks who need to isolate but can’t do that safely at home so if they have a high-risk family member or there’s not sufficient space to have their own private area…. it’s pretty much been full since we have occupied it,” HRDC President and CEO Heather Grenier said.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic cut the HRDC Warming Shelter’s capacity in half, but the HRDC reached out to Federal Emergency Management Agency to secure 10 hotel rooms for those most at-risk to double their shelter size along with their warming center in Livingston.
The Human Resource Development Council's (HRDC) Housing Director Brian Guyer said last year during the February cold snap along with the pandemic and local housing and food insecurities, their warming centers saw around 95 people a night.
Grenier said they have fully acquired the hotel which can reserve more than 40 rooms but are looking to receive funding from the state to offset some of the temporary funding costs to hopefully keep the hotel and turn it into something bigger.
“What we hope is that long-term once we know longer need it for COVID, that we can actually transition the units to efficiency apartments and create some workforce housing,” Grenier said.
Depending on how long it takes for the state to review the application, the HRDC hopes it only takes a few months as their deadline to pay for the hotel is in June 2022.
“Any resource we have that can help people obtain housing, even temporary housing right now is really desperately needed… Otherwise, we’re going to have to look at alternative solutions like selling the facility,” Grenier said.
HRDC's seasonal, overnight Warming Centers are set to open in Bozeman and Livingston on Nov. 1 and remain open through the cold fall and winter months.
You can find more information about the HRDC and their emergency shelter programs here.