If you build it, they will come...are we building a "Field of Dreams" for the out-of-state transient population here in Montana?

The Flathead County Commissioners in Kalispell, Montana sent out a powerful open letter to residents concerning the rise in homelessness in the Flathead Valley.

Do we need to take care of the truly needy in our communities who are falling on hard times and need some help? Yes. Do we need to turn Montana into a recruitment ground for the out-of-state transient and oftentimes criminal element to move into the state? No. I thought the commissioners did a great job of threading that needle.

What the commissioners are communicating in the letter below is that the infrastructure supporting the homeless population is basically recruiting "more home homeless individuals to our community."

Here is the part of their letter that stood out the most to me:

Using social media and smartphones, these wanderers are well-networked and eager to share that Kalispell has “services” to serve their lifestyle. Make no mistake, it is a lifestyle choice for some. In fact, many of the homeless encountered in our parks, streets, and alleys consist of a progressive networked community who have made the decision to reject help and live unmoored. Although well intended, facilities that offer only shelter, and no accountability, exacerbate the problem.

Here is the full letter from the Flathead County Commissioners, as shared by the Flathead County Republicans: (You can also click here for the letter sent via the Flathead Beacon)

attachment-Flathead Commissioner Letter Jan 19 2023
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What's interesting to me is by their own admission a local warming shelter is acknowledging in this Montana Public Radio report that more than half of the people using their shelter are either brand new to the area, or had just gotten here within a year or so of when they collected the data cited.

By the way- in the news TODAY is this headline: MAN PUNCHES PREGNANT WOMAN IN THE STOMACH AT THE MISSOULA SHELTER

What's your take? Shoot me an e-mail at aaron (at) montanatalks.com or you can message me on the "Montana Talks" app.

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