April 21, 2022 ~ Daily Inter Lake
We, the Executive Board of the Flathead Warming Center, are writing in response to a recent letter to the editor regarding the seasonal closing of the Warming Center. We want the community to know that closing during the summer is part of an intentional and focused philosophy.
Our mission is to save lives through providing overnight shelter throughout our coldest months by providing low-barrier access to shelter and to provide our guests with links to community resources to help them find permanent housing. Providing shelter year-round can be enabling and counterproductive. We all must be uncomfortable to take necessary steps toward changes in our lives. We treat our guests with dignity, love and honesty. Yet, some do not feel the urgency to move forward.
At the shelter we have a 100-night countdown toward the seasonal closing to promote a sense of urgency and with our countdown we partner with our guests in their steps to move beyond homelessness.
Our shelter season concludes at the end of April, but our services do not end then. In our efforts to link community support and services to each of our guests, we will be open through the summer months (Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays 10:30am - 2:00pm), providing individuals and families with access to showers and laundry services and enabling us to continue our relationship with many who struggle in our community. Our open summer hours will enable us to continue to empower those we serve with tools and resources to move beyond homelessness.
We thank the community for their strong support of the Flathead Warming Center and the other ministries that provide help and shelter to those without a home in our community.
— Luke Heffernan, Tonya Horn, Jane Emmert, Shirley Willis, Jerie Betschart, Darrin Andrews, Bethany Johnson, Roger Nasset, Jeffrey Scogin, Steve Snipstead