Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Both Missoula homeless shelters are gearing up for the anticipated cold snap this week into early next week by expanding their capacity to serve more people and keep them safe and warm.

KGVO News spoke to Poverello Center Communications Coordinator Beckett Redinger on Wednesday about preparations underway at both shelters.

With Temperatures Expected at over 20 Below Zero, Homeless Shelters Get Ready

“We are expecting that more folks will want to come in and access shelter, and we are preparing for that by making sure we have space available at both shelter buildings and we are making it so that folks who otherwise wouldn't or couldn't access shelter, get into the building can stay the night,” began Redinger. “As always, we're behavior based, so just as long as folks are respectful, and we are being a little bit more lenient with our rules as well, so hopefully we can provide shelter for about our 185 capacity number at Johnson Street (Shelter) and about 110 at the Poverello Center.”

Redinger said staff with (the HOT Team), the Homeless Outreach Team have been checking in at locations where homeless people spend the nights and encouraging them to take advantage of the lifesaving warmth and food at the shelters.

Homeless Outreach Team Helps Get People into the Shelters

“Our Homeless Outreach Team (HOT Team) is out five days a week chatting with people and letting them know when they can come in how they can get to us and making sure they have all the gear to get safely from one place to another,” he said.

Redinger said both shelters depend a great deal on public participation and donations to help feed and properly clothe shelter residents during the cold snap, and throughout the winter.

You Can Help with Donations of Cash, Blankets and Other Supplies

“We're always looking for donations,” he said. “We have an Amazon wish list that folks can just order directly to. We're also looking for any donations of good condition tents, sleeping bags, coats, any winter gear as well as blankets, towels, toilet paper, and other toiletries. We're also always asking folks to come in and volunteer so that they can see what we're about. I think serving a warm meal during this time is especially effective and important.”

Click here for details on what supplies are needed and where they can be dropped off to aid the Poverello Center and the Johnson Street Shelter in their lifesaving work during the below zero weather and throughout the winter.

Inside Look at the New TSOS Shelters

The Temporary Safe Outdoor Space new hard-sided shelter facility officially opened on Thursday, January 5. The TSOS is just off West Broadway near the new Trinity affordable housing complex.

Gallery Credit: Nick Chrestenson

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