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Poverello Center sleeps record number of people

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Published On: Nov 22 2013 07:01:40 PM MST
Updated On: Nov 22 2013 09:13:12 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

114 people stayed overnight at the Poverello Thursday night - an all-time high for the shelter.

Poverello staffers say the shelter has slept an average of about 80 people a night since the summer, but when temperatures dip below 20 degrees, the shelter drops its zero-tolerance alcohol policy and opens its doors to anyone.

"We really just cram people in every nook and cranny around," said Poverello staff member Jesse Schraufnagel. “We sleep folks in the hallways, in the dining room, in the food pantry, in the front entryway. Pretty much any empty floor space is taken up by individuals."

Schraufnagel says the previous overnight record was set three years ago at 180 people.

Construction is currently under way on a new building that will add 40 beds.