Rescue mission

Montana Rescue Mission Celebrates Launch of New Billings Campus

BILLINGS — The Montana Rescue Mission on Tuesday opened its new unified campus, which has a primary goal of ending homelessness in Billings.

After two years of hard work, rescue mission board members, partners and community members gathered at the new location as plans became reality.

“It’s really unique for Montana. This, a campus approach with everything under one roof,” Montana Rescue Mission Executive Director Matt Lundgren said Tuesday.

The new location will be on the same block as the existing Montana Rescue Mission building on First Avenue South. Once the unified campus is complete, Lundgren says people won’t have to travel all over town to get any help they might need.

“So literally people can go from the streets to addiction and breakup, to our healing program, and then to living in their own homes,” he said.

The campus will include an emergency shelter, a long-term recovery program and 29 affordable apartments.

“There is a huge need for affordable housing in this city. Safe and secure housing at an affordable price,” said Mountain Plains Equity Group President and CEO Don Sterhan.

Once completed, those using the campus will also have access to healthcare, counseling and job training opportunities.

“We will have an automobile trade center, a welding trade center, a carpentry trade center, a culinary trade center, an office trade center and a retail trade center. Everything on this campus under one roof,” Lundgren said.

The existing Rescue Mission building will also be renovated as part of the Unified Campus project. The goal is to complete the job by December 2023 — a big task to complete in 16 months, but one that Lundgren says could change Billings.

“Homelessness is exploding. What we want to do is make it virtually non-existent here in Billings,” Lundgren said.