In an effort to ensure that the Southwest Montana homeless community has a safe alternative to sleeping outdoors in the cold winter months, the HRDC, the City of Bozeman, and the Gallatin County Fairgrounds are working to create an indoor solution.

BOZEMAN - Bozeman's temporary warming center will be housed in a combination of buildings at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds this winter.

Heather Grenier is the special projects director for the Human Resources Development Council. She tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle the warming center moved into the midway facility at the fairgrounds on Thursday and will remain in that and two other buildings until the end of March.

She says the group is still working with the fairgrounds on costs.

The Greater Gallatin Homeless Action Coalition has raised $18,000 in private donations for the temporary center, and the city has contributed $6,000.

In addition to providing a warm place for the homeless to sleep, the coalition hopes to collect information about those who use the shelter to get a better idea of the needs of the homeless in the Bozeman area.