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The Montana Rescue Mission needs supplies for the winter as more individuals arrive



Billings, Montana – The Montana Rescue Mission anticipates seeing even many visitors early next week because some nights are predicted to drop below zero in temperature. Even before our region saw winter-like temperatures in November, the area was already congested.

“Cold weather always brings in more folks, but I have to say we really saw an uptick in demand with the pandemic,” says Rev. Matthew Lundgren, executive director for MRM. “Before the pandemic, we were averaging around 90 a night, now we are averaging around 300 a night. Those numbers haven’t decreased even in the summer when we usually see a dip,” he says.

According to Lundgren, there has recently been a significant increase in homelessness around the country, which is taxing resources.

“My staff hasn’t tripled in size and my budget hasn’t tripled in size. We are facing some pretty strong headwinds. Luckily, the board and the community have gotten behind this new building which will literally quadruple our size. You know we built it with 400 beds thinking we will never get there—well we are almost at 300 now. Nationwide we are seeing that homeless is a bigger deal all over.”

Warm socks, boots, hats, gloves, and coats are essential items to have when the temperature becomes cooler, according to Lundgren. Additionally, they are gathering any Christmas gifts that individuals might wish to offer, such as toys for the shelter’s young residents.

You can phone the Montana Rescue Mission at 406-259-6079 or drop off those items at their office, which is located at 2902 Minnesota Avenue.

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