(Missoula Current) With funding tight, the United Way of Missoula County this week welcomed an $80,000 grant to help fight homelessness by keeping people housed – one of the primary goals in the City of Missoula's housing strategy.

The flexible grant, dubbed the Housing Solutions Fund, can be used to meet a range of needs, from paying for a rental application or helping cover rent when times are lean. It can also be used to help a family cover up-front deposits when seeking housing.

Susan Hay Patrick, the CEO of the United Way of Missoula County, said too many people are burdened by housing costs and face housing instability.

“It will bolster our Housing Solutions Fund, which helps people avoid falling into homelessness, or helps them quickly stabilize their situation,” she said. “We are very grateful that Wells Fargo sees the opportunity of our work and has chosen to make continued investment in helping our neighbors when they need it most right here in Missoula.”

The donation stems from Wells Fargo and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. The matching grant program was introduced in 2023 and disperses $20 million to eligible organizations.

The Housing Solutions Fund looks to prevent people who are housed from losing their housing. The program has helped hundreds of families over the past three years, according to Wells Fargo

“Far too many people are burdened by housing costs and are facing housing instability,” said Katie Rollyson, the lead philanthropy and community impact specialist at Wells Fargo. “We believe everyone deserves to have access to a healthy, affordable place to call home.”

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines provides funding solutions and liquidity to more than 1,200 members to support mortgage lending, economic development and affordable housing in the communities they serve.

According to the bank, the Member Impact Fund provides $3 for every $1 of an eligible member's grant donation. The awards are given in partnership with member financial institutions.

“The commitment of members like Wells Fargo, and their connections to organizations like United Way of Missoula County, help advance the positive work being done in its community,” said Kris Williams, president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines.