Winter is here and with it, we are experiencing sub-zero temperatures along with several inches of snow.

Winter can be harsh in Montana, and even harsher for those that don't have sufficient housing or shelter. "Pop Up" neighborhoods have become popular over the last few years in places like Bozeman and Missoula, as people struggle to deal with the high cost of housing by living in RVs, campers, and personal vehicles.

New data reveals that Montana comes in 41st out of 50 for homelessness.

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According to World Population Review, Montana has just over 1,500 residents that are homeless. Although that might not seem like a lot, my guess is that those estimates are probably pretty conservative. Not to mention that out of the 1,500 that are homeless, more than 100 of them are households or families and over 200 are veterans.

Close-up of homeless male face covered with frost

There are organizations out there that are dedicated to fighting homelessness in Montana, but they are limited in space and resources. So what are the reasons behind the homelessness issue nationwide? According to the data, it comes down to four main issues:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Unemployment
  • Poverty
  • Low Wages

Unemployment certainly isn't the issue here in Montana, as many of Montana's cities and towns are struggling to fill open positions. However, affordable housing and comparatively low wages definitely play a factor.

When I talk to people that aren't from the area and tell them of the wages that are being offered, they're often in shock and don't understand how folks could struggle. However, they're in greater shock when I tell them how much an average home is or what people are paying for an apartment.

obdachloser Mann mit seinem Hund

There is no easy answer to the problem, and it will most certainly continue as Montana is a desirable place to be. Until the supply can satisfy the demand, prices will continue to be high, which means that some Montanans won't be able to find affordable housing.

The concern that we should all have is helping those in need as we enter into what could be a bitterly cold winter.

LOOK: Here is the richest town in each state

Just saying the names of these towns immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, luxury cars, and ritzy restaurants. Read on to see which town in your home state took the title of the richest location and which place had the highest median income in the country. Who knows—your hometown might even be on this list.

CHECK IT OUT: The best county to live in for each state


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