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Reaching Home: Missoula's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness



"Reaching Home: Missoula's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness" is the result of more than a year and a half of research by a volunteer working group appointed by Missoula Mayor John Engen and then-County Commissioner Jean Curtiss.


Missoula has a Coordinated Entry System 

The At-Risk Housing Coalition officially launched phase 1 of the Missoula Coordinated Entry System on June 1, 2017.  The coordinated and streamlined effort is better serving people experiencing homelessness, reducing duplication of services, and providing system-level data contributing to enhanced efforts around our ultimate goal to establish a strong "Coordinated Entry System" that makes homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring for people in our community. 


Why is the Missoula Coordinated Entry System important? 

  • Reduces the burden on people in a housing crisis
  • Identifies the most appropriate housing resource to facilitate a rapid and permanent exit from homelessness
  • Prioritizes the most vulnerable households for housing (i.e. people experiencing chronic homelessness)
  • Collects system-wide data to inform necessary shifts in resources, identify gaps, etc.
  • Projects work together as a housing and service system (often reducing duplication of services) 
  • Full understanding of housing barriers, and the opportunity to use data to promote change
  • It's a systematic response that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible or is otherwise a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience 
  • If your agency would like to get more involved with MCES, please stay tuned for plans for the phase 2 launch. 


Can we really end homelessness? Yes, we can!


We know that people are skeptical about the idea of ending homelessness. What does it even mean? Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness has provided this operational definition that Reaching Home endorses:

“An end to homelessness does not mean that no one will ever experience a housing crisis again. Changing economic realities, the unpredictability of life, and unsafe or unwelcoming family environments may create situations where individuals, families, or youth could experience, re-experience, or be at risk of homelessness. 

An end to homelessness means that every community will have a systematic response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible or is otherwise a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience. 


Specifically, every community will have the capacity to:

  • Quickly identify and engage people at risk of and experiencing homelessness.
  • Intervene to prevent the loss of housing and divert people from entering the homelessness service system.
  • Provide immediate access to shelter and crisis services, without barriers to entry, while permanent stable housing and appropriate support are being secured.
  • When homelessness does occur, quickly connect people to housing assistance and services—tailored to their unique needs and strengths—to help them achieve and maintain stable housing.”


For more information, please visit the following web links:


Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness


SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR)


Missoula, Montana/Housing Community Development


Montana Homeless Data


Missoula Homeless Persons' Memorial


C.I.T. Montana


Click here for the 10-Year Plan