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Service agencies launch effort to solve homelessness

By Jacqueline Gedeon, KTVM Butte Reporter, jgedeon@ktvm.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 05:45:59 AM MDT
Updated On: Jun 13 2014 08:51:41 PM MDT
BUTTE, Mont. -

Alarming news from Butte -- activists report a 68 percent increase in the number of people who are homeless or need help.

We spoke with one man who was $102 short of bus fare to Seattle. Right now, he's one of Butte's homeless.

It's part of the reason the Human Resources Council and other nonprofits are working together.

"Our impetus is really to get back to the community," said incoming CEO Margie Seccomb. "And have the conversation about what is the need, you know how many homeless are there, who are they and to develop services that are really responsive to that."

Federal money used to go to projects like transitional housing, but that's changing.

Seccomb said after doing some research the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development told the HRC transitional housing is not fit for every community. She said that's why they started holding meetings to figure out which model to approach.

"We had Western Montana Health at the table," said Seccomb. "We had Community Health Center at the table, the Butte Rescue Mission, Human Resources Council, the Butte-Silver Bow County Health Department."

Butte Rescue Mission's case manager Clyde Still was there.

"It was wildly successful," he said. "Most of us know each other on a professional level, we've dealt over the phone, we've gone to each other's offices for different facets, but this is the first time we've had pretty much every agency in one room at one time."

Still wants to identify ways to make finding help easier.

"You have to find the right person, the right service agency, and unfortunately and unfortunately in a lot of cases you have to jump through hoops," said Still.

The activists know there's more work to do and more people to help.