A new shelter for homeless families and victims of domestic violence surpassed its fundraising goal, bringing in more than $8 million to fund the new facility, organizers said Monday.

YWCA Missoula and its partners said the construction of The Meadowlark, located on West Third Street, will be finished by March and open by April, thanks in part to its successful capital campaign.

“This would not have been possible without the generosity and dedication of this community,” said Cindy Weese, executive director of the YWCA Missoula. “We're incredibly humbled by the support this campaign has received.”

Weese said more than 1,000 donors contributed to the campaign, with gifts ranging from pennies to $1.1 million. As of Monday morning, the campaign had raised $8.15 million.

The YWCA and Missoula Interfaith Collaborate broke ground last August.

“The challenge was to raise funds to build The Meadowlark without affecting the operating budget needed to run the YWCA’s existing programs and serve its current clients,” Weese said.

The YWCA Missoula broke ground last August and is set to open early in 2021. (Dave Stalling/Missoula Current)
The YWCA Missoula broke ground last August and is set to open early in 2021. (Dave Stalling/Missoula Current)

The 36,750-square-foot facility will house an expanded domestic violence shelter, and an emergency housing center for homeless families.

The facility will be the first in Missoula to provide same-day access to emergency shelter for families with children. Support and rental assistance will also be provided to help move families in permanent housing.

“In Missoula, on any given night there could be 50 families, 110 kids, sleeping in cars or unsafe situations,” said Casey Dunning, executive director of the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative Executive Director. “If a family loses their housing, or if someone is fleeing domestic violence, they won’t have to be on a waiting list for weeks. They will have a safe place to go right away.”

The Meadowlark will also contain the YWCA’s administrative offices and an expanded domestic violence shelter, located in a separate and secure wing of the building.