Missoula’s Union Gospel Mission has been overhauling its facility and preparing staff to create a new Women and Children’s center. According to Executive Director Don Evans the doors open next week.

"We have been moving for the last year toward getting things in order to be a 12 month recovery center, which is free with six months of after care where the mother can come and deal with what is going on with life," Evans said. "Anything from just brokenness in life or addictions in regards to being set free so that over the course of 12 months they just become healthy contributing members of society again, while they have their kids, because not having your children while you go through recovery is one of the drawbacks."

Evans says the facility will help women deal with all types of addictions: everything from meth and opiates to even gambling. Even though it isn’t open yet, Evans expects the facility to be full before winter.

"I just spoke with our Women and Children Director yesterday and she has already accrued five ladies to come in and start living here starting on Monday," Evans said. "There are plenty of applications to where we are approaching that 16. There is a similar program in Seattle at the Union Gospel Mission there. They have an 86% success rate for those ladies that graduate the program. They are staying clean and free even two years later."

Evans says that an estimated 84 percent of homeless families in the U.S. are single-parent, female-led households and that the new model of the Missoula Union Gospel Mission was designed to help meet the needs of that specific population.

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