MRM coordinated entry effort to identify homeless in need - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

MRM coordinated entry effort to identify homeless in need

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(MTN News Photo) (MTN News Photo)

An effort spearheaded by the Montana Rescue Mission is to identify the urgency of need for the homeless population in Billings.

On Wednesday, roughly 200 people met with coordinators, who assess each individuals' situation.

The goal is to alleviate wait times for those who need housing assistance - by going to a  new system based on vulnerability and severity of need.

The efforts hopes to ensure that those who require assistance the most, get it in a timely manner.

"By assessing where they're at, it will either place a person higher up on the list for assisted housing," said Glenn Fournier, MRM's Program Director. "And there is other programs that reintroduce folks disconnected with Montana Rescue Mission and services we offer and programming and other things."

This program will be coordinated in conjunction with Volunteers of America (VOA), Tumbleweed, HRDC, Housing Authority and Continuum of Care.  

Officials say in order for the program to be successful, a more in-depth assessment of the current homeless situation facing our community will be conducted over the next couple of weeks. 

MRM has been using the HUD recommended database for about four years.

This same system will now be used by other agencies dedicated to serving people experiencing homelessness in order to coordinate assistance efforts. 

Although MRM does not receive federal, state, or local financial assistance, the coordinated entry program will assist those agencies that do by providing a more accurate account of who needs what services.

The new process will also assist MRM’s street outreach efforts so that people sleeping on the streets are prioritized for assistance in the same manner as any other person assessed through the coordinated efforts.

In total, officials expect to meet with as many as 600 people in need of help.

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