The Poverello Center is Volunteer Missoula’s Organization of the Month

Publisher’s Note: Volunteer Missoula is partnering with Make It Missoula to help the community learn more about the great work of local nonprofits as well as spread the word about exciting volunteer opportunities available to Missoulians. Every month we will feature a blog about an “Organization of the Month” chosen from our list of website users.

The Poverello Center was established in 1974 in order to help feed, clothe, and shelter those in need.  While it had a very simple, sands of those in need every year.  The Poverello does not only provide aid, but it also helps people to grow and learn new skills so that they can promote positive change to those around them.  The Poverello has four philosophies when it comes to care:  foster dignity and respect in every human interaction; help people engage in healthy, positive change; recognize people as unique individuals with strengths; expand the possibilities for choice and change.

1a5da3b6_new_pov_logoPhilosophy of Care:

  • Foster dignity and respect in every human interaction
  • Help people engage in healthy, positive change
  • Recognize people as unique individuals with strengths
  • Expand possibilities for choice and change

The Poverello center will take anyone who is either homeless or at risk of losing their home.  Everyone needs a helping hand and a kind smile from time to time, and if you are in need of these things now then the Poverello Center is the place to be.

I recently had the pleasure of working with the Poverello Center and found the experience to be rich and very rewarding.  Before I tell my story, however, I would just like everyone to know that I have changed a few of the names of those who I am about to talk about.  Changing these names is out of respect and privacy to those who work and live at the Poverello Center.

It was a warm March day and I was getting ready to head for my shift on the kitchen line at the Poverello Center.  To be honest I was not looking forward to it at all.  I kept having flash backs to my days working in the food industry and all of the work that goes into it.  Thinking of all of the cooking and cleaning that goes into running a kitchen was making my back ache.  I was able to fight these feelings and finally got into my car and headed down to the center.  The Poverello is located on 1110 W. Broadway, and since no one really speaks GPS, that is across the street from the Imagination Brewery.  It is a very nice building and I timidly walk in and talk with the woman who was working the front desk.

I asked for Anastasia, she is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Poverello Center and is the person to talk to if you are interested in lending a hand.  While waiting for Anastasia I kept myself busy by looking through the board game collection that was available on the gameshelf. After getting to Monopoly, Anastasia walked in and invited me into her office.  We talked for a while, and she informed me of the rules and regulations that govern the center.  This process took a short amount of time, and soon I was touring their kitchen area.  It was very different than what I had envisioned and was much more like a cafeteria.  Instead of cooking and cleaning, which was my nightmare, I was in charge of adding food to the trays and providing soup.  I got to meet another first time Volunteer, Greg, and then was given a serving spoon and sent to work.

The Poverello Center of Missoula

I was hungry while working so a lot of my picures are of food.

Working the kitchen was so much better than I had feared.  All of the volunteers were very nice and welcoming and those I was serving were fascinating people.  I started off by getting to know Greg who was an exchange student.  He was in America teaching classes, however, his time here was limited.  After talking for a while I found out that Greg had a wonderful relationship here in Missoula and was hoping to ask his love to marry him.  This romantic love story touched my heart, and I hope Greg knows that my best wishes are with him.  Greg was my serving buddy and while I was handing out the delicious smelling chicken stir fry, he was serving potatoes.  It was a great set up, and we were blasting through the line.

The Poverello Center of Missoula

Under these pans is the best food!

While I worked the line, I also met Stephani who was helping us by handing us trays to use.  Stephani was very friendly, and we talked a lot about her life and her future plans.  I wish I had more room in this blog to capture all of the wonderful things about Stephani, however I must be brief and say that she speaks her mind and is not a fan of bullies.  A true hero in my opinion.

I never really had an opportunity to talk with the cooks who were making the food, but I did get a chance to meet the kitchen boss, Robert.  Being a former chef, Robert knew how to run the kitchen and keep things moving smoothly.  A great leader, Robert has mastered the ability to tell you what to do without your feeling like you are being bossed around.  Thanks to Robert we had a constant stream of food to offer.

The Poverello Center of Missoula

A look at the Poverello’s Kitchen.

I also got a chance to talk with many of the patrons at the Poverello, many of whom are just down on their luck.  The patrons came from all different walks of life. There were musicians and artisans, accountants, business owners. Anyone you can imagine was there talking and laughing and enjoying a good meal with everyone else.  As I worked, I got a great feeling, I could not have been more wrong about what it meant to work at the Poverello Center and felt a little silly about my moment of dread beforehand.  I encourage anyone who is even thinking about working a shift there to give it a shot, because while I did work a two hour shift I was not ready to leave once it was over.

If you are interested in joining the Poverello team, then you can fill out an application here, and if you have any questions for me, then feel free to contact me at  I love hearing feedback and will try and answer any questions that I am able.  I hope you all have a great mounth, Volunteers, and I will see you next time.


My name is Will Schultz and I am a recent graduate of the University of Montana.  I am originally from Butte and have been living in Missoula for the last few years.  I love the sense of community that Missoula has created and am hoping to become more involved.  I enjoy working on computers and I get a great sense of accomplishment that my skills are being used to help others!

If you like this article then volunteering may be for you.  It is a great way to meet people and is more rewarding than my command of the English language can describe.  Visit to find ways to lend a hand near you.


Volunteer Missoula is a complete, streamlined volunteer management service for volunteers, nonprofits and businesses in Missoula County. We are web-based nonprofit organization operating under the fiscal sponsorship of United Way of Missoula County. Volunteer Missoula was created and is currently operated by Missoula community members dedicated to promoting volunteerism as a solution to meeting community needs. Volunteer Missoula is partnering with Make It Missoula to help 2015-02-17_1240the community learn more about the great work of local nonprofits as well as spread the word about exciting volunteer opportunities available to Missoulians.

Every month we will feature a blog about an “Organization of the Month” chosen from our list of website users. Our mission is to promote and expand volunteerism as a viable means to fill service gaps in Missoula by connecting volunteers, nonprofits, businesses and individuals in need of service through an interactive and comprehensive website. Volunteer Missoula’s website connects volunteers with Missoula-based nonprofit organizations. We make volunteering easy. For more information about our program or how to become an Organization of the Month, please visit or email us at Step Up. Help Out.