In the past week, residents in Billings Heights haven't received mail, and they aren't the only ones facing a delay in delivery in Montana and around the country.
Mail is like clockwork. It shows up, each and every day. So, when it doesn't, it's noticeable, especially in a place like Aspen Grove senior apartment complex in the Heights.
“The complex got mail once in the past week,” Aspen Grove resident Carol Bates said.
Bates lives most of her days in a wheelchair, and like the many who live at the complex, she depends on the mail more than most.
“I personally have trouble going places, so I order tons of stuff to be delivered to me," Bates said. "I can only carry so much on my chair."
Bates did receive her mail on Thursday— a power cord and some pillowcases. These are things she admitted aren't super important, but that isn't the case for many of her neighbors.
“We have a lot of people that take a lot of medications, and their medications come – a lot of them – by mail,” Bates said.
Billings isn't the only city reporting these delays. Residents of Bozeman and Missoula have reported similar frustrations with the mail being delivered this week.
U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Kimberly Frum released this statement regarding the issue this week: "The postal service is not immune from the staffing challenges and hiring challenges that nearly every industry across the country is facing."
MTN reached out to the post office's spokesperson in Billings, but multiple calls were not returned.
"That’s not something that’s safe for people," Bates said. "We need to get mail more than once a week."
And Bates is hopeful that her mail will continue to arrive on time — not just for her sake — but for her neighbors at the complex.
“It’s inconvenient if it’s something you need immediately," Bates said. "This wasn’t something that I needed immediately, but I am concerned for the people that need their medicine."