A solution for the increase in urban camping: In the spring of 2023, we sent this letter for City Council and County Commissioners to encourage them to prioritize year-round shelter in their budgets. See our urban camping fact sheet.
People experience homelessness for many reasons: unaffordable rent, poor credit, adverse rental history (including past-due utility payments), lack of available housing options, and a lack of a support network, which can lead to eviction.
Each of these requires a slightly different solution.
That’s where the Housing Solutions Fund (HSF) comes in. It’s a flexible tool that United Way of Missoula
County and our partners use to provide support when and how people need it. Frontline caseworkers work with
clients to identify and ask for the help they need from the HSF, whether it's paying for rental applications for a
new apartment or helping with a utility or rental deposit. Some people just need a gas card or bus ticket to return
to their family network. Assisting people to avoid losing their housing or quickly resolving their houseless
experience is the goal and result of the HSF. The fund has helped hundreds of our neighbors during the past
three years. Here’s how:
From March 2021 to December 2022, the Housing Solutions Fund has helped almost 200
households with more than $100,000 in direct client assistance. In the first four months of 2023
(Jan. - April), the HSF has helped an additional 96 households with more than $60,000.
● It has supported local people in temporarily or permanently resolving their housing situation,
either by preventing them from falling into homelessness or assisting them in quickly exiting
● The average assistance since the fund opened in March 2021 is $521.
● The most common uses of the fund were rental deposit and/or assistance, payment of utility bills
in arrears, relocation assistance, and rental application fees.
● The most significant value of the Housing Solutions Fund is its flexibility. Case managers can
help in the way each person needs it most.
● The HSF is also a strength-based, equity-centered resource that trusts people to know their own
needs and barriers and supports them in finding a resolution.
The Housing Solutions Fund is made possible through funding and collaboration between United Way of Missoula County, the Human Resource Council, Hope Rescue Mission, the City of Missoula and Missoula County.
Funders include the City of Missoula, Missoula County, Wells Fargo, the Otto Bremer Trust, and individual donors.
Fostering physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth for Missoula’s youth.
Removing obstacles and paving the way for hard working families to get ahead financially.
Working to ensure that everyone in Missoula has the tools they need to live a healthy life.