As Missoula’s Poverello Center experiences significant growth, neighboring businesses and homeowners feel the impact.

To address the challenge, once a month the Poverello staff host a neighborhood meeting, giving the public a chance to talk through the challenges they’re facing.

Amy Allison Thompson, executive director of the Poverello Center, recognizes they can be a challenging neighbor to have at times, but with a little bit of communication, she’s hoping they can work through these issues.

Thompson said the neighborhood meetings have already brought positive change. For example, when neighbors expressed concern over the Center’s messy landscaping, staff members took charge and made changes.

They’ve also implemented quarterly neighborhood cleanups where staff, community members and those staying at the Poverello Center pick up litter around town.

At a Monday night meeting, the group discussed the winter warming shelter process and what improvements can be made there.

While some issues discussed at the meetings are specific to the Poverello, the staff hopes the initiative will motivate the entire city to consider what it means to be a good neighbor.

“I think it’s easy to feel like issues that are happening in our community are somebody else’s problem,” said Thompson, “and I think it allows us to work as a team here, a varied team-folks staying with us, folks on our team that work for us, and then also community members.

“We’re coming together with concerns that affect the entire neighborhood, and we’re working together to address those issues.”

Neighborhood meetings are held the 3rd Monday of every month, once in the morning and again in the evening.

Additionally, the Poverello Center will host a tour of their building on March 3rd for the public to learn more about their programming.