The Missoula City Council voted nearly unanimously Monday night, September 9, to approve retroactive restrictive ordinances that would keep the Union Gospel Mission from relocating from Toole Avenue to a storefront on West Broadway.

During the emotional public hearing before the council Monday night, Trudy Welker, a resident of the area where both the soon-to-be-built Poverello Center and the mission would be located, said her home had been broken into several times just after she moved into the neighborhood.

Photo courtesy of City of Missoula

"I have never thought of owning a gun," Welker said. "But after my home was broken into just after I moved in, I thought my two big dogs would keep me safe, so I actually contemplated getting a gun, which scared me, because I would never have considered that. So, I really encourage you to adopt this resolution."

The vote itself was overwhelmingly in favor of adopting the retroactive restrictions on homeless shelters, soup kitchens and related organizations. Ten of the 11 council members voted for the restrictions, with the lone dissenter being Ward 6 representative Ed Childers. Ward 5's Dick Haines was absent for the vote.

Missoula Mayor Jon Engen encouraged the management of the Union Gospel Mission to sit down with leaders in the neighborhood to work out a solution.

Missoula City Council Vote: