Missoula’s Salvation Army is hoping to open its doors as a warming shelter in the next few weeks. Captain Josh Boyd says they originally needed to raise all of the $50,000 it would require to run the shelter, but things have changed.

“We are continuing to raise funds, but we are now going to be able to open without having the full amount,” Boyd said. “We need to continue raising those funds so that we can keep the shelter open all the way through the end of March. We are just now hiring the staff, getting them trained and getting volunteers on board to make sure this shelter can be fully staffed and be a safe environment for all the guests that come to stay.”

The Salvation Army will open the doors as soon as staff is in place. According to Boyd, this warming shelter is a potentially life-saving resource.

“There are not enough shelter beds for all of those individuals in town,” Boyd said. “There are a lot of people that are sleeping in cars, sleeping in storage units, sleeping on the ground, unable to find a warm place to be over night. During this cold time of year, in particular, it is really important that we find a place for these people to be because sleeping outside in some of these temperatures can be really life threatening.”

Boyd is pleased to announce that almost $37,000 has already been raised.