Missoula is certainly not the only Montana city that has struggled with homelessness issues, but its Reserve St. bridge problems have been some of the most well-known.

This article is not a debate about homelessness or what to do about it. It's simply a handful of the online reactions to the request of the Montana Department of Transportation, asking for community volunteers to help clean up the piles of trash left behind at the Reserve St. bridge encampment in Missoula.

Bozeman residents have also become extremely frustrated with the state of some streets which have become defacto RV and homeless neighborhoods. The availability of shelter or an appropriate place with facilities is near zero in Gallatin County.

Frustration has been rising for months (if not years) about the state of the Missoula encampment. Relocation, cleanups, and fencing have all been attempted. The community is not thrilled to be asked yet again, to help clean up the mess. In reaction to an NBC Montana story about the MDT request, these were some of the comments:

  • How about you just find a way to actually keep them out of the area instead of a monthly call for help to clean up the mess?
  • The city should pay for it they allowed this crap
  • Why don't the residents have to clean up their own messes just like the rest of us?
  • Make them clean up after themselves. I helped do this once. Won't again.
  • This is so unsafe. I’d be afraid of getting stabbed with a dirty needle.
  • What a joke, the people that lived there should have been made to clean this up at their exit.
  • Pretty simple. I nominate the entire City Council which enabled this to happen along with ALL the "homeless" who did it and are living off taxpayer dollars
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  • Why don’t the people who voted for whoever is in council go volunteer? What a joke.
  • I volunteer the town council!
  • How many times have volunteers cleaned this site? It’s ridiculous
  • No thanks! The policy makers can do it because they created the mess.
  • Again? And again? I was part of a large cat rescue down there starting last winter and it was trashed, security was there for a few months then what? Clean up again?
  • This is truly sad. There’s a company in Spokane that recently bought a warehouse that they are turning into a homeless shelter. Maybe Missoula needs to do that too.
  • In Bozeman they call this urban camping
  • what happpened to the rent a cops who were supposed to be patrolling the expensive reserve street bridge fencing that they put up?
  • How about assigning community service in the courts to get this done.....its a win/win
  • Not how I want to spend my day off, stepping in human waste and crack pipes etc. I'll pass.
  • Here’s an idea MDOT, take the $100,000 fence you had built that couldn’t keep a baby out of and use that money to fund this project. Pretty big sham that we have zero say about having to pay for this…
  • That's a joke. The city council and the new mayor should go down there and get busy. They created this mess.

Real, tangible solutions to the immediate homelessness problems in Montana cities are currently non-existent. As of this writing, there were nearly 250 comments on the original NBC Montana article. Until some solutions are presented, it appears that we'll be having more of this sort of frustrated commentary from Montanans.

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