Homeless Push Poverello Center Over Capacity - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Homeless Push Poverello Center Over Capacity

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MISSOULA -

Poverello Center employees said 110 homeless people checked in on Friday, stretching the shelter's resources thin.

Employees said they routinely sleep people over capacity, but when more than 100 people show up in one day, the center runs short on bedding, winter clothing and more.

Emergency Services Program Manager, Jesse Schraufnagel, said the Poverello Center was overwhelmed this past weekend by people hoping to dodge incoming cold weather.

"We only have 67 beds, so anyone that checks in beyond that number will additionally sleep on the floor on a mattress," he said.

But, when the shelter was 43 people over sleeping capacity this weekend, even extra mattresses were scarce.

"Once we run out of mattresses, we'll have people just sleep on a blanket or a bed roll," Schraufnagel said.

He said they're always in need of extra bedding, and encourage community members to drop off any unwanted supplies.

"In addition to that, warm winter coats, hats and gloves, we have a real big shortage of hats and gloves right now."

Schraufnagel said luckily, those who stay at the Pov are quick to share limited resources.

"A lot of times, two people will share their blankets or their bed rolls, sleeping bags…"

When the weather drops below 20 degrees, Schraufnagel says the Pov follows a "weather policy."

Schraufnagel explained, "Where we allow anyone to stay, depending on the circumstances, because we don't want to see anybody freeze to death."

In addition to a warm bed, hundreds of people in need stop by the Poverello Center for a hot meal every day.

More than 70% of the Poverello Center's budget comes from food, clothing volunteer service and other donations.

To learn how you can make a donation, or to volunteer at the Pov, click here.

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