Code Blue Protocol to Be Implemented at Local Emergency Shelter for the Second Time this Winter
Saturday Jan. 28th, 2023
Despite Ongoing Funding Challenges, HRDC’s Bozeman Warming Center Will Extend Services to Ensure the Safety of All Community Members
Hours will be extended at HRDC’s Bozeman Warming Center to ensure everyone has a warm, safe space to stay as temperatures drop below zero in the coming days. While subject to change depending on weather conditions, HRDC is planning to deploy the Code Blue status on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 29 and 30. In addition to round-the-clock shelter, any previous guests with a suspension status will be provided access to the shelter during the Code Blue designation.
“HRDC’s priority during cold snaps is to make sure that vulnerable members of our community can come inside and safely shelter from the frigid temperatures,” stated Brian Guyer, HRDC’s Housing Director.
Community members who are unhoused are at high risk for exposure-related injury given the frigid temperatures that are expected to plague the Bozeman area for a second time this winter. The extreme weather conditions currently in the forecast include projected overnight lows nearing minus 20 degrees with heavy amounts of snow preceding the icy-cold temperatures.
“Keeping our shelter open during daytime hours is a very necessary, but costly action to take. While our emergency shelter is currently not funded to provide services during the day, we are extremely concerned about our guests’ safety and HRDC can use all the support the community can provide to help us keep our doors open,” said Guyer. He continued, “It is not well understood that our Warming Centers do not have funding for year-round, 24/7 operation. To be clear, the level of response we can provide to our community members needing shelter is directly tied to the level of support provided by donors, and currently, round-the-clock services are not supported.”
“We are challenged on a daily basis to serve community members who are struggling to find housing and who have nowhere else to turn,” added Jenna Huey, HRDC’s Emergency Shelter Services Manager. “Our ongoing outreach efforts to connect with community members who are living in vehicles and other non-traditional forms of shelter will be increased in the coming days to help ensure everyone is aware of our shelter services and that they are welcome to come in out of the cold.”
HRDC’s Livingston Warming Center will maintain its regular schedule from 7 pm – 7 am each day. Any guests with suspended service will be permitted to stay at the facility, and if demand exceeds capacity at the Bozeman location, HRDC may choose to use the Livingston location as a contingency shelter.
Cash donations to the Bozeman and Livingston Warming Centers can be made online by visiting https://thehrdc.org/donate/ or can be submitted by mail to HRDC, c/o The Warming Center, 32 S. Tracy Avenue, Bozeman, MT 59715. In addition to cash donations, hats, gloves, socks, hand warmers, and cleaning supplies are also welcomed at this time.