Homelessness focus of Butte coalition - KXLF.com | Continuous News | Butte, Montana

Homelessness focus of Butte coalition

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Homelessness is a fate that doesn’t discriminate.

“Anybody can become homeless, it’s just a matter of life circumstances and unfortunate events,” said Cassie O’Leary with the Butte Continuum of Care Coalition. “What if you got sick? What if you lost your job and you didn’t have those social supports, right? It could happen to you.”

The Continuum of Care Coalition held a public forum Monday evening to inform people how it plans to eradicate homelessness in Butte through multiple local mental health and social service agencies.

“Our purpose, the Continuum of Care Coalition, our purpose is to develop a system of services to make sure homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring,” said Action Inc. Director Margie Seccomb.

The plan includes getting an accurate count of the homeless in Butte, get proper services to them and quickly get them into permanent housing.

“At any given time in our community, the number of people that we have identified as homeless in our community is less than or equal to number of housing units in our community, so there really is no reason why we can’t make sure that everybody is off the street,” O’Leary said.

The coalition is confident in the plan because they say it's helped to reduce the homeless populations in larger cities because, with a little help, most homeless people will try to help themselves.

“What we’re finding when people fall into housing or homeless situation, they’re very self-resilient, they’re very creative in how they get themselves out of that situation, so more often than not it just takes a light touch of services,” O’Leary said.

This plan is happening while Butte is currently without a homeless shelter.

The Butte Rescue Mission wants to set up a mobile facility south of town off Harrison Avenue by September, but first must get the approval of the Zoning Board.

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