Valerie Hedquist

Living without a home is a condition that affects everyone. When our fellow community members experience job loss, a family tragedy, domestic violence, addiction, and/or mental illness, they can easily lose the financial means to secure safe housing. Among the more vulnerable groups are mothers, children, and veterans.

We tend to think that most of the 40,000+ homeless veterans served during the Vietnam Conflict, but these unhoused combat veterans also fought during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

What do unhoused veterans and other homeless individuals need? They need a coordinated effort that provides safe, secure housing and nutritional meals. They need basic health care services, mental health counseling, and addiction interventions. When these basic needs are met, they can receive job training and placement assistance.

Missoula’s Crisis Intervention Levy will continue to provide these services. A coalition of law enforcement officers, medical care professionals, and members of community religious denominations has already united to support Missoula’s current care intervention strategies. (

In order for these successful efforts to continue, vote in favor of the Crisis Intervention Levy on this year’s ballot. Let’s do it to honor veterans for more than just one day.