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MT homeless shelters struggle with COVID-19

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 7/23/20

Homeless shelters are accustomed to facing their share of disaster. Compared to floods and fires, however, COVID-19 has proved an unruly challenge. Although some tribulations stem from sanitation and quarantine measures, preventing an outbreak among residents is crucial and many Montana shelters feel abandoned by policymakers. Appropriate infrastructure in order to provide services to homeless who are often escaping domestic violence or who need help regaining custody of their children, is insufficient.

“What the county is set up to do is ‘emergency.’ A fire, an earthquake, a flood. Nothing that’s going to last months and months into the future,” Lewis and Clark County Commissioner Susan Good Geise told the Montana Free Press. “No one is set up for that. And yet, here we are.”

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