Rough Sleepers: A Community Conversation about the Unsheltered in Helena

Rough Sleepers: A Community Conversation about the Unsheltered in Helena

Plymouth Church – UCC, in partnership with the Lewis and Clark Library, United Way, the Montana Jewish Project, Good Samaritan and the Helena United Methodist Churches, invite the public to participate in the reading and five-week discussion of “Rough Sleepers” by Pulitzer-prize winning author, Tracy Kidder. The origins of housing shortages, education, medical care, and substance abuse are a few of the topics that will be featured each week and explored by leaders in our community, from Wednesday August 30 through Wednesday September 27. All discussions will be held at 12 noon; sack lunches encouraged. The Lewis and Clark Library hosts the first gathering in the meeting room, though each week the discussion will move to other locations. No reservations required; all are invited whether or not you have read the book.


August 30 at Lewis and Clark County Library, 120 S. Last Chance Gulch

“Why Now? Historical Origins of the Housing Crisis”, (discussion about why homelessness seems like a national crisis now) facilitated by Dr. Pat Christian, Carroll College


September 6 at Our Place, 631 N. Last Chance Gulch

“Who Is My Neighbor?” (Stories of people who are homeless), facilitated by Theresa Ortega, Good Samaritan, and Rev. Dr. Jeff Buscher, United Way


September 13 at the Montana Jewish Project Temple Emanu-El, 515 N. Ewing

“What’s Education Got to Do with It?” (Information from an educator, social

worker and a parent interacting with unsheltered children and adults),

participants include Siobhan Hathhorn, Chair of the Helena School Board

Trustees, Jaymie Sheldahl, Family and Community Partnerships for Rocky

Mountain Development Council Head Start with Jennifer Hedges


September 20 at Covenant United Methodist Church, 2330 E. Broadway

“Practical Considerations and Overwhelming Needs” (a perspective from local government regarding low-income housing and the challenges the city and county face) facilitated County Commissioner Andy Hunthausen and Mayor Wilmot Collins


September 27 at Plymouth Church – UCC, 400 S. Oakes (lunch provided)

“What About Drugs, Addictions, Mental Health and Other Life Threatening Concerns on the Streets”, facilitated by Teresa KelleyBrewer, Pure View Clinic

Looking for an Opportunity to Make a Difference?

Come join the good samaritan family!

Good samaritan ministries is seeking volunteers and hiring for the following positions!

Full-time administrative assistant!
Full-time marketing and communication coordinator!
Full-time dock production!
Full-time dock production and driver!
Full-time and part-time cashier’s!
Part-time linen production assistant!
Full-time lead dock production assistant!

Samantha Jensen
Human Resources Manager
(406) 442-0780 ext. 101
[email protected]

Our Place – A Good Samaritan Outreach Program – Grant Application 2024

Grant Application 2024

Parish/Organization Name: Our Place – A Good Samaritan Outreach Program

Address: 631 N. Last Chance Gulch Phone: 4063890223

Pastor/Chief Officer Name and Title: Theresa Ortega

PROJECT CONTACT PERSON Name and Title: Alton Talley – Program Coordinator

PROJECT CONTACT PERSON Phone Number: 4063890223

PROJECT CONTACT PERSON Email: [email protected]

Total Proposed Project Budget: ($2,000 for food cards, $2,300 temporary emergency shelter, $700 curriculum

Amount Requested: $5,000.00

Funds Raised for Project to Date: At the time of writing we have not raised funds as we are still working on donations from previously.   However, we are starting our new fiscal year and have plans for fundraisers and online drives to complement the grant from the Foundation for the Diocese of Helena.  We are currently in the planning stages of the budget for the new fiscal year, so please note that during this time last year we raised over $5,000 in additional funds. In-Kind Support Obtained or Committed for Project: Through other grants and the

Assistance Ministry at Good Samaritan we will receive financial support for client needs that will allow them to participate in regular programming as well in-kind staffing and in-store assistance. Duration of Project or Program: December 2023 to May 2024

Project Description: To assist person’s suffering from domestic violence, homelessness, substance use disorders and mental illness to acquire food assistance, provide temporary emergency shelter, for those that are not able to attend our community shelter, who attend our day programming, and assist those in need of transportation and food, during the winter months.

NARRATIVE: The goal here at Our Place is to use our groups to prepare and help individuals who struggle with various forms of addiction and mental illness. We provide an Art Group, Life Skills, Social Skills Group, Goal and Journaling Group, two groups to assist people on the journey to spiritual well-being, and 4 groups centered around recovery from addiction.  Over time the groups have grown from 3-4 participants to now we see an average of 10-16 participants.  The participants in large part are from the homeless population, but we also get veterans and 55+ participants.  Our groups dealing with spirituality are the newest additions as clients who have been coming for some time and have started their walk-in recovery have asked for groups that are also based in spirituality.  Many of the clients that now claim sobriety have said it is directly related to what we have been teaching and promoting here at Our Place.

Description of the project, including why the project is needed, what your expected outcomes are and your strategy for evaluating the success of the project: With the growing homeless population and the apparent increase in drug and alcohol addictions, Our Place strives to assist and educate clients on the importance of recovery, giving them hope that recovery is possible.  Our recovery groups center on helping clients heal mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the most in need in our community.

Meanwhile we also provide resources to assist clients get the hand-up they so desperately need.  The purpose of the request  will work in tandem with the Assistance Ministry of Good Samaritan to provide temporary emergency shelter for men or women who are unable to go to the local shelter, are fleeing a dangerous situation, are of an advanced age, have mental health challenges, escaping addiction or have a short-term medical need, Getting them into a temporary shelter will grant staff and clients the time needed to arrange for long-term sustainable shelter away from the dangers of the streets or for those with the medical need allow us to provide a referral with a warm hand off to St. Peter’s FUSE program. .

Through the funds requested for food cards, it will allow our program to assist clients supplement grocery items needed that they are unable to obtain through the pantry program at Good Samaritan Ministries, food share, God’s Love, or the exorbitant price of day to day groceries The food card program will also allow those, who for one reason or another, who are unable to eat at the local shelter, to purchase food items at a local business, to prevent malnutrition due to a lack of sustenance.

Each of these programs will be monitored for success in the following manner: For those fleeing the dangers of the street, after a night or two in a temporary emergency shelter will be able to either relocate successfully elsewhere or enter one of the various programs in Helena that shelter and assist those in traumatic situations.  For those who receive food cards, the hope will be to acquire nourishment, while seeking gainful employment, (an issue that is difficult to do when your first priority is where to acquire food).  This program’s success will be seen and evaluated by witnessing a decrease in those going hungry and an improvement in general health.

The third request will allow Our Place to purchase NIV Bibles and Celebrate Recovery Bibles to assist those who are interested in reviewing and studying scripture and Christian teachings to learn, heal and grow in their spiritual walk. Due to the very personal nature of this request our hope will be that the success will be seen in those seeking a referral to a local church or parish.

Description of organization, the population and community served, and any unique challenges in your service area:

“Our Place is a safe physical space for men and women to create new beginnings.  Our Place is a peer-run support program specializing in behavioral challenges and those recovering from addiction.” Further we strive to assist those who are experiencing homelessness to receive a hand-up, rather than a hand-out, to achieve personal success in bettering their lives.  The population and community we serve struggle with escaping situations of homelessness, hunger, addictions to include alcohol and drugs, as well as mental health issues. With the current lack of affordable housing and limited space at the local shelter, many of our clients have nowhere to go, and for those in the midst of a dangerous or violent situation,  temporary emergency shelter is needed until other avenues of placement and protection can be arranged.  For many clients who suffer from homelessness one of the first priorities is seeking a means to receive nourishment, because all other issues become a second priority in the face of hunger.  By providing food cards to these clients, it grants them temporary assistance for nourishment while they seek and await gainful employment.  During the winter months, there are those who at times cannot go to the local shelter for various reasons, providing them with food cards can grant them a reprieve from hunger or malnutrition.  Our Place strives to provide as much assistance to individuals as we can through various grant programs and donations received.  We also act as a referral source, partner with case managers for dual support of clients, provide education, while providing recovery groups and assistance to treatment.  Our Place is part of the Good Samaritan Ministries outreach team.


Food Cards:      $2,000.00

5 x $100.00 =   $500.00

20 x $50.00 =   $1,000.00                 20 x $25.00 =   $500.00

Temporary Emergency Shelter Assistance: $2,300.00

Will provide approximately 23 nights in a hotel at $100.00 per night, if able to acquire lower priced shelter additional nights will be available to assist clients.

Spiritual/Christian Curriculum: $700.00

NIV Bible with red lettering:   20ea x $18.00 = $360.00

Celebrate Recovery Study Bible: 20ea x $17.00 = $340.00

All cards and vouchers will be monitored and approved by the Program Coordinator

Signature – Pastor/Administrator and/or authorized officer: Alton Talley, Jr. CBHPSS – Our Place Program Coordinator

Date: 06/23/23

“Nowhere to go” Helena camp provides shelter for the unhoused

HELENA — Tucked between the trees in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest off of Oro Fino Gulch Drive is a camp. It’s a collection of tents just outside Helena city limits, and for some people, it’s a safe haven, and all they have.

“I had nothing,” camp resident Nicholas Kudlicka said. “I was lucky, fortunate—God graced me with this unit, I think.”

Kudlicka is a US Navy veteran. He said he’s struggled with his mental health and homelessness. He said he is now on medication and waiting for a place to open for him at the Guardian Apartments in Helena.


New Dock Hours Coming June 23rd

Starting on June 23, 2023, our donations dock will be open from 9 pm to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday, with a break from 1 pm-2 pm for lunch.

Please bring your donations in closed boxes or bags.

Thank you!

Hours of operation are subject to change due to staff shortages.

January is Poverty Awareness Month!

January is Poverty Awareness Month. More than 1.5 million children experience homelessness in a year and over 37 million Americans live in poverty. Our Street Outreach Program is always in need of hats, gloves, socks, blankets, sleeping bags, and tents for our unsheltered neighbors if you have any of these items to donate please drop them off at Good Samaritan or Our Place.