Homeless Shelter Proposed for Lewistown, the Middle of Montana
If you build it, they will come.
Is the small town of Lewistown, Montana looking to build a homeless shelter, similar to what has taken place in towns like Missoula and Kalispell? Apparently so. And the Mayor of Kalispell is cautioning Fergus County residents.
The mayor told folks in Lewistown that one of the challenges of building these homeless shelters is that transients from outside of the area will start moving in. Here's the story from KRTV:
“I know that there’s a lot of people who don’t want to admit it,” Mayor Johnson said, “But we had a significant increase in people from outside the area starting to show up in Kalispell.”
John Jackson and I have discussed this very issue on the radio a number of times. What has happened in places like Missoula and Kalispell is that instead of taking care of needy families in the valley, you build this "Field of Dreams" type of facility that encourages out of state transients to move in and oftentimes bring the criminal element with them.
For those who aren't familiar with Lewistown, it is one of the most beautiful main streets in the great State of Montana. When it comes to geography, Lewistown is smack dab in the middle of the state.
You may recall a story I did earlier this summer putting the spotlight on a homeless encampment in Missoula. The area became so dangerous that women didn't feel comfortable visiting the YWCA thrift store in broad daylight.
Later, Flathead County Commissioners also penned a powerful letter citing their concerns over the transients in Kalispell. Here is the part of their letter that stood out the most to me:
Using social media and smartphones, these wanderers are well-networked and eager to share that Kalispell has “services” to serve their lifestyle. Make no mistake, it is a lifestyle choice for some. In fact, many of the homeless encountered in our parks, streets, and alleys consist of a progressive networked community who have made the decision to reject help and live unmoored. Although well intended, facilities that offer only shelter, and no accountability, exacerbate the problem.
Click here for the letter sent via the Flathead Beacon.
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