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Poverty Impact Initiatives
In 2006, Mayor Ron Tussing was asked to lead an initiative to develop a plan to address the needs of the homeless in Billings. The Mayor formed a 20 member coalition, the Mayor's Committee on Homelessness, to develop and implement a plan. In 2010, Mayor Tom Hanel fully embraced the initiative and has been a constant supporter of the many programs and activities sponsored by the Committee. 

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In October 2009, the City Council adopted Welcome Home Billings ; a ten-year plan to impact homelessness. The completed plan and supporting documents can be found online.To date, over 300 cities across the nation have committed to implementing plans to impact homelessness. Over 50 local organizations and 600 individuals have been collectively working on implementing the plan to impact homelessness.

Initiatives & Innovations
  • Billings Community Connect - One day each year, dozens of organizations gather to provide immediate access to services such as housing, food, clothing, employment, medical care and legal aid.
  • Resource Map & Notepad - Documents created to link individuals and families to resources in the community including shelter, food, clothing, health care, etc.
  • Housing Development - City staff generated $800,000 in funding to support the development of two housing initiatives to serve those experiencing homelessness.
  • Faith Engagement - The Faith Engagement initiative proposes to develop a sustainable model that will create faith community collaboration towards the effort of impacting the needs of people living in poverty in Billings.
  • Homeless Play - The City sponsored Project Homelessness, in partnership with Venture Theatre, to create a play depicting true stories of children experiencing homelessness in the Billings area.
  • Community Gardens and Food Security - Efforts to increase access to nutritious food and support organizations providing for those in need.
  • Illuminate Poverty -This initiative is designed to raise social and public awareness about poverty and homelessness in our community.
  • Social Enterprise - Furthering financial sustainable innovations targeting homelessness through business enterprise and economic opportunity.
  • Spare Change for Real Change - Creating an alternative to giving to panhandlers, this project provides opportunities to support change through the Purple 5k, Downtown Crit and spare change collection.
  • Billings Metro VISTA Project - AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America members work to create or expand community based programs, services and systems to impact poverty and homelessness.