Posted: Jan 14, 2013 4:56 PM by Adam Bell
While the weather may be cold for many of us, it takes on a whole different meaning when you are homeless.
"I love the challenge, I mean this place is gorgeous, this is God's country and it's worth it," says homeless person Robert Riley, originally from Los Angeles.
Riley has been homeless for 3 years. He chose to be up north, in what he calls beautiful country. But when that beautiful country becomes frigid, he has to find a way to survive.
"I Stay at the warming center, 7pm to 7 amevery day and when you get out of the shelter at 7 in the morning, the Streamline Bus, which is free, can't believe that, never heard of that before, takes you wherever you need to go," says Riley.
Housing Director for the HRDC, Sara Savage says the warming center has been busy this year with "Our numbers are doubling from what we've seen in previous years."
Just a month and a half into the season, the warming center has helped almost as many people as the center did during the entire winter season last year.
While the warming center is a great place for those overnight stays for those without a home, during the day, they have to find other opportunities during these frigid afternoons.
"Just hunt for warm places. To be honest with you, I just go to the bathroom stall for a half an hour, break out my book," says Riley.
Sara Savage adds that the Bozeman community is working to help keep the homeless warm during the day adding that "There are a lot of community agencies like HRDC and some of our partner agencies that can offer places for people to go and work on getting housing, work on finding employment."
And for Riley, those resources are turning his life around saying, "I think I'm going to be on the right track, I've got subsidized housing, I think I have a job lined up tomorrow."