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Montana Rescue Mission seeing more people, needs items for winter

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Posted at 10:12 AM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 12:51:12-05

BILLINGS - With temperatures expected to dip below zero some nights early next week, the Montana Rescue Mission is expecting even more people to come into the shelter. It’s already been a crowded place even before winter-like weather begin hitting our area back in November.

“Cold weather always brings in more folks, but I have to say we really saw an uptick in demand with the pandemic,” says Rev. Matthew Lundgren, executive director for MRM. “Before the pandemic, we were averaging around 90 a night, now we are averaging around 300 a night. Those numbers haven’t decreased even in the summer when we usually see a dip,” he says.

Lundgren says there has been a huge uptick in homelessness recently across the nation—which is putting a strain on resources.

“My staff hasn’t tripled in size and my budget hasn’t tripled in size. We are facing some pretty strong headwinds. Luckily, the board and the community have gotten behind this new building which will literally quadruple our size. You know we built it with 400 beds thinking we will never get there—well we are almost at 300 now. Nationwide we are seeing that homeless is a bigger deal all over.”

With colder weather ahead, Lundgren says there is a real need for warm socks, boots, hats, gloves, and jackets. They are also collecting presents that people may want to give for Christmas—including toys for the children in the shelter.

You can drop those items off at the Montana Rescue Mission office at 2902 Minnesota Ave. or call them at 406-259-6079.