Miles City Councilwoman Roxanna Brush wants to get temporary housing set up for local residents in need and is interested in talking with anyone else who wants to help.
During Tuesday’s council meeting, Brush spoke about Wesley Mark Selby, with whom she had worked in the past and who died when it was bitter cold last week in his car reportedly because he had no home.
Brush said the other night the news reported that Billings Senior High School has 300 homeless students.
“And it’s going on here, too,” she said. “There are kids crashing on people’s couches because they don’t go home anymore.”
“It could have been any one of our kids that passed away from alcohol and falling asleep in the car,” she said.
She wondered if the city should come up with a plan to set up an emergency shelter in times of bad weather, so that people who find themselves in need have a place to go when it’s cold.
Brush said right now there are a lot of people with frozen pipes who don’t have water.
“We’ve had a death that could have been anybody, basically ... It’s something we need to look at, I think,” she said.
Utility Director Allen Kelm said whenever there is a disaster, normally Red Cross is called, then it gets a hold of organizations like the Ministerial Association, and the different churches around will set up shelters.
So there actually is some of that emergency stuff already in place, Kelm said.
Brush said there’s a lot available for strangers who come through town: vouchers to stay in a motel and a bus ticket to the next place down the road.
“But we don’t have anything for our local people, and I think we need to start helping our own. I am looking for interested individuals to work on a transitional home. I’m hoping to get it going, start meeting after the new year. So if anyone is interested in that, I’d sure appreciate it.”
“So I just wanted to throw it out there that this is something I’m interested in doing, and I hope that I can get a few other people interested in, too,” Brush summarized.
She hopes to form a board to get an effort started after the first of the year.
Anyone interested in helping can call Brush at 951-0689.