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Volunteers clean Missoula’s Reserve Street homeless camp as officials eye extending temporary shelter site

Kevin Davis, left, and Missoula County commissioner Juanita Vero

Kevin Davis, Founder of Big Sky Commerce,  is one of the organizers of the volunteer group that hauled over 50 garbage bags of trash from the Reserve Street site on Friday. There are still many people living on the land, which is mostly owned by the Montana Department of Transportation and is surrounded by private property.

“Republic Services told us we’ve taken in over 15 tons in the last 30 days,” Davis said. “That’s from a combination of a few different groups doing cleanups, mine included. We did one on April 9 as well, and we accomplished a lot in four hours. We were overwhelmed by the amount of trash in the area.”

Republic Services is allowing the volunteers to dump what they collect at the landfill for free.

 

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East Missoula community groups hosts clean up – Dumpsters were filled within an hour

Community members in East Missoula hosted a brand new event Saturday to clean up their neighborhood.

The drive-thru garbage and recycling drop off at Burnich Framing in East Missoula has been in the works for months.

 

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Missoula duo forms nonprofit to haul tons of trash from surrounding woods

Luke Jovin and Gennadiy Lemeza have lived in Missoula almost their entire lives, and have always seen trash in the forests where they like to spend time.

 

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Lake Helena Watershed Group hosts Earth Day cleanup along York Road

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1 Comment

  1. Russ Fletcher on April 26, 2021 at 6:32 am

    >> Sent: Fri, Apr 16, 2021 at 7:01 AM
    >> Subject: A former service provider’s concern
    >> To whom it may concern,
    >>
    >> I’m sending this email to Kevin Davis with the hope that he can forward it to those involved in the clean up efforts. My name is Travis Mateer and I worked at the Poverello Center from 2008-2016. I was directly involved with collaborative efforts in this area that once included the Health Department and Clark Fork Coalition. After I left my job a number of factors led to a change in course that has brought us to where we are today.
    >>
    >> I was involved with last Friday’s clean-up and, though the clean-up part was productive, I was VERY discouraged to see how bad this area has gotten again after so many personal hours spent tactfully working to remove tons and tons of trash over the years.
    >>
    >> One item I found in the trash was a young Native woman’s ID. This validates my concern about how areas like these can function, especially in the warmer months when seasonal transient activity increases.
    >>
    >> I spoke about these concern in a Zoom meeting earlier this week with the Missing Indigenous Woman’s Task Force. They were very receptive about my description of homeless encampments and motels being places touched by human trafficking and meth abuse. I wonder what they would think about citizens like myself and Kevin getting lectured to by homeless advocates about our good-faith efforts to address what they are enabling?
    >>
    >> As a citizen of this community I don’t need permission from my former employer to continue the work I was once paid to do, and did well. I also won’t ignore the stories I hear DIRECTLY FROM CLIENTS about why some residents of this camp don’t feel safe staying at the Poverello Center. Incidents of sexual assault and violence INSIDE THE POV is confirmation of those claims that some people feel safer living outside than they do in an overcrowded shelter where active drug and alcohol use has led to some very bad outcomes.
    >>
    >> Instead of doing a clean up today, like I was planning on doing, I’m going to take other actions in order to more accurately describe what our problems are as a community for those without my direct experience and historical understanding of this complicated issue.
    >>
    >> I’ll work with anyone who wants to be a part of the solution here, and I want to thank Kevin specifically for persisting with his volunteer efforts, despite the many unnecessary barriers he has experienced during his involvement.
    >>
    >> If anyone has concerns about Kevin’s work, please know that he is consulting regularly with me, a former service provider with a decade of experience working with vulnerable populations. And if anyone wants to speak with me directly, my phone number is 406-529-1655.
    >>
    >> Thank you,
    >>
    >> Travis Mateer

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