Celebration was in the air this morning, as YWCA Missoula and MIC were joined by community members, officials and campaign supporters to mark the launch of construction of the new facility, which will be named The Meadowlark.
Here is the press release announcing the groundbreaking.
YWCA Missoula and Missoula Interfaith Collaborative break ground on new facility
Capital campaign reaches 84% of $8 million goal as fundraising continues
August 21, 2019 — Missoula, Mont. — YWCA Missoula and Missoula Interfaith Collaborative were joined today by local community members and officials to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new facility that will provide critical support and shelter to survivors of domestic violence and homeless families. The 36,750-square-foot building, which will be named The Meadowlark and located on West Third Street, is expected to open by the end of 2020.
Cindy Weese, YWCA Missoula Executive Director, kicked off the ceremony by discussing the need for this project. “Family homelessness is a significant issue in Missoula, yet it often goes unnoticed,” Weese said. “These are families in our community with children who, whether due to domestic violence, unaffordable rent, or loss of employment, suddenly find themselves with no place to go. It’s time to build these families a better solution.”
Homeless families with children currently have limited options for emergency housing in Missoula. The YWCA can shelter up to 12 families at a time, and Missoula Interfaith Collaborative’s Family Promise program can shelter up to four. There may be dozens more families left unsheltered on any given night.
The new family housing center, which will occupy one wing of the facility and be operated in partnership with Missoula Interfaith Collaborative, will offer homeless families same-day access to emergency housing, as well as support and rental assistance to move quickly into permanent housing. The facility will also contain the YWCA’s programs and an expanded domestic violence shelter, located in a separate and secure wing of the building.
“It’s been inspiring to witness the incredible community support for this project,” said Casey Dunning, Missoula Interfaith Collaborative Executive Director. “I’ve seen Missoulians from all sectors and walks of life come together to make this happen.”
YWCA Missoula, in partnership with Missoula Interfaith Collaborative, launched the public phase of its capital campaign for the project in July. The organizations to date have raised $6.7 million, which is 84 percent of the $8 million goal. They plan to raise the remainder as they proceed with construction.
The groundbreaking ceremony included recognition of community member and campaign co-chair, Kathy Veazey, for her $1.1 million contribution to the project, as well as a $1 million contribution from lead donors who have chosen to remain anonymous.
“We feel it’s our obligation to nurture this wonderful community, as it has cared for us through countless acts of kindness and we hope our gift compels others to also contribute,” said the donors in an issued statement. “We believe The Meadowlark will have a lasting impact on the families and people served there for generations to come.”
Local news coverage of the groundbreaking:
YWCA, Missoula Interfaith Collaborative break ground on new $8M family crisis shelter (Missoulian)
Missoula YWCA, Interaith Collaborative break ground for family shelter (Missoula Current)
Missoula YWCA breaks ground on new family shelter (KPAX)
YWCA, Missoula Interfaith Collaborative break ground on new facility (KECI/ NBC Montana)
YWCA and Missoula Interfaith Collaborative on a new domestic violence and homeless shelter (ABC Fox Montana)