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A continuing housing crisis means Bozeman's shelter is short on storage space

HRDC's front desk and bedding.
Olivia Weitz
Yellowstone Public Radio
The Human Resource Development Council's warming shelter in Bozeman is running low on storage space.

This year, for the first time, the warming center in Bozeman is open-year round. Since staying open past April, the shelter has seen an increased demand for storage.

Human Resource Development Council’s Housing Director Brian Guyer says the housing crisis is putting pressure on storage space at the shelter.

“The amount of items that people are bringing along with them in the midst of this housing crisis, it’s just different than what we’ve typically experienced," he said. "People are bringing along everything they own because they’ve been rapidly displaced from what was formerly a pretty stable housing situation."

To create more storage space HRDC added a storage pod in front of the warming center. Guyer says the shelter is also limiting the amount of items guests can bring to their bunks — encouraging more storage in lockers and other areas.

A regional housing study by the nonprofit One Valley Community Foundation found that rental prices in Gallatin County have increased 5.5 percent annually from 2015-2019. A government accountability reportfound that a $100 increase in the median rental price in some U.S. cities increased the homelessness rate by almost 10 percent.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.