HRDC is proud to partner with St. James Episcopal Church and the MSU School of Architecture to provide a safe and sustainable transformative housing community for Bozeman’s chronically homeless, empowering them to focus on reintegration into community living.

The Housing First Village, HRDC’s newest initiative aims to provide transformative housing to Bozeman’s chronically homeless. The number of homeless, and the length of time of their homelessness has been increasing in our community, however, the options available to support the homeless in getting back into housing are more limited. The Warming Center, which provides seasonal temporary shelter, is reaching capacity. In addition, several consistent years of a virtually zero percent vacancy rate in rental housing makes it more challenging for our chronically homeless Warming Center guests to use existing rapid re-housing resources to support the transition into permanent housing.

Targeted towards the homeless population that is most at risk, this safe and sustainable model is designed to support successful reintegration into community living and permanent housing. The single-user “tiny” homes or shelters would provide a cost effective way to address the growing issue of homelessness, while maintaining the autonomy and dignity of the resident. Utilizing best practices from around the nation, this model is based on the “Housing First” philosophy, which limits the barriers to entry and provides supportive services to residents for mental health, addiction, etc once they have secured housing.

This innovative concept would provide another resource in the continuum of housing services already provided by HRDC and community partners to address the issue of homelessness in our community. Central to the success of this model is a resource hub, which we hope will include an onsite medical mini-clinic, a mental health counselor, and a services coordinator. In addition, there would be dedicated spaces for community providers, such as addiction services, job and employment support, budget and financial coaching, etc.

This idea was brought to HRDC by project coordinator, Connie Campbell-Pearson, a deacon at St. James Episcopal Church. Her passion for providing a dignified solution of homelessness in our community is already bringing various sectors of the community together. A partnership with MSU School of Architecture has supported senior and graduate level architecture students to research best practices in the tiny shelter model, and develop and fully construct demonstration projects. By bringing different sectors of our community together, we can work to support our homeless neighbors in finding a place to call home.