It would appear our local Missoula city government is taking steps to tackle our ever-growing "urban camping" problem. Now citizens can report dangerous campsites.

Before I get you all the information, I want and need to state that this article and information is not intended to hurt anyone. Homelessness is a real problem in our community, but nobody should be punished for being poor. Many of you reading this could be one raise on your rent away from being in their shoes. Many things are leading to our growing homeless problem besides drugs and mental health issues. In my opinion, we need to start looking at predatory landlords, our insane cost of living, and the lack of housing.

We do have a problem, however. It doesn't take a genius to see the significant rise in violent crime, drugs, theft, and more. I don't even feel safe walking my dog in our local parks for fear she is going to step on a used needle, and like you, I'm very sick of it. If you're unfamiliar with the problem somehow, just check out the "Missoula Looks Like Crap" Instagram page.  You can just feel it in the air. Missoula is a powder keg about to explode if we don't take some steps to get this under control.  Recently, the city government has been meeting, and we have a step in the right direction started with a new site where you can report urban campers and abandoned vehicles, but there has to be a danger to your safety.

We cannot remove or ticket people just because they are unhoused.  Encampments must pose a health or safety concern, be preventing the use of a public space, or be blocking the public right-of-way  -

Things like drug use, used needles, off-leash, and aggressive dogs, camping on private property, impeding traffic right away, garbage or human waste, or aggressive/violent persons should be reported.

If you feel you are in danger you can report Missoula Urban Camping HERE.  There is also a part of the form to report abandoned vehicles as well.

Citizens of Missoula of all walks are struggling. Please remember we are a community. Let's help where we can, but at the same time, I understand we need to protect our city and its citizens.

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