YWCA Provides a Gateway to Housing for Homeless Families

YWCA Missoula’s Gateway Assessment Center – part of our Ada’s Place program – offers seven motel rooms to house homeless families for up to 50 days. Our case manager meets with homeless families on a weekly basis for intake and assessment and provides referrals for finding employment, housing, transportation and legal counsel.

YWCA Missoula’s Emergency Housing program provides motel room stays of up to 50 days for homeless families.

Fifty days can feel like a short amount of time to wrangle housing, employment, and resources. Many of our families, however, rise above expectations and are well on their way to stable housing upon exiting the program. These successes inspire us in our work and give us energy to continue with the work we do.


YWCA volunteers provide cooked meals for families in our motel rooms, as they don’t often have the time or the tools to prepare meals.

One of our successful families is the *Smith family. Judd and Amanda Smith relocated to Missoula so their small child could be closer to their extended family. After arriving in Missoula, they discovered they could not stay with that family as they had originally planned, forcing them to sleep in their car. Judd and Amanda contacted the Gateway Assessment Center shortly after arriving in Missoula and were placed on the waiting list very quickly. Amanda secured employment in a field that she loves after one week of entering Emergency Housing. I’m happy to report that the Smith’s worked diligently to secure permanent housing and were recently awarded funds through the Emergency Solutions Grant to move into a home of their own!

Before moving into our motel rooms, many families sleep in their cars packed full of their belongings. During the summer, some families camp out in tents.

Posted by Abigail, Ada’s Place AmeriCorps VISTA

*Names changed to protect confidentiality.