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Homeless man says City of Billings bought him a bus ticket to Portland Oregon



Billings, Montana – A man in Portland, Oregon is supposedly heard telling Kevin Dahlgren in a video that is making the rounds on social media that the City of Billings sent him there.

The individual alleges that without any safeguards in place, the City bought him a one-way ticket there.

According to Victoria Hill, the public information officer for the City of Billings, there is neither a program nor money set aside in the city’s budget to pay for bus tickets for homeless people to move to another city. She did point out, however, that a number of neighborhood organizations with no connection to the city do run relocation programs. The Billings Continuum of Care, or COC, is one of them.

Its President of Directors, Kari Boiter, noted that their program goes above and above to confirm that a person has the support network necessary in place before they arrive at their destination.

“The program that we do have that offers very limited relocation services would be in a case where someone has a job lined up for them, a family member waiting for them, or a place for a permanent residence. Our goal is to exit people from homelessness to housing stability if there is an opportunity to do that in another community where somebody has better ties and more support we are happy to consider that support for relocations, but it’s only when cases where we have verified that they have a place of permanent residence they can go to. Not a shelter, not transitional housing; we won’t shift the problem from here to another community. That’s not how we do business,” said Boiter.

Boiter stated that she has contacted the Billings Continuum of Care’s partners to inquire about their knowledge of the individual in the video. They don’t have any records of his getting relocation assistance, she claimed.

She highlighted that the COC takes helping individuals who are homeless seriously.

The Crisis Stabilization Service for Yellowstone County includes Continuum of Care. Also, through it, there is Montana 211 and Substance Abuse Connect.

We did get in touch with Kevin Dahlgren and PDX Real, the people who shared the initial video of the homeless man, but they were unable to provide us with any other details.

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