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Reserve Street homeless camp closed, cleanup efforts in the works

(KPAX) The Montana Department of Transportation announced Thursday almost all residents at the homeless encampment under the Reserve Street Bridge have relocated, and they will close access to the property.

Just last month, MDT announced people living in the camp under the bridge, which is the property of MDT, had until January 25 to move. At the same time, Missoula officials opened another, this time legal encampment across the river.

Bob Vosen, with the Montana Department of Transportation, said at its peak, about 140 people were living in the area. But now, he said everyone is relocating, with the start of a new authorized camping site and the help of the Homeless Outreach Team.

“There’s just a lot of pieces that had to be put together to get to where we are today,” Vosen said.

The HOT team helped coordinate communication efforts.

“Meeting clients where they’re at. Not just in a physical term, their campsite or something, but all around,” said Guy Johnson. “Sometimes it just takes a good conversation with folks, to emotionally be there as well.”

Johnson said people are comfortable at the new camping site.