Posted: Dec 9, 2012 9:09 PM by Bernie Riggs – KPAX News

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MISSOULA – Children of abuse and neglect rely on a safe place and in In Missoula, that’s the Watson Children’s Shelter, which is now facing a big problem, it’s maxing out.

While no one has been turned away yet, it’s now a possibility as the shelter is housing 32 kids, the most they’ve ever seen. More children mean more costs.

State Child and Family Services provides 60% percent of the cost per child at the shelter, with the rest of the funds coming from the community.

A home tour took place Sunday and many folks came out to show their generosity. One birthday girl, who visited the shelter, asked for her friends to provide gifts to a few Watson children with upcoming birthdays.

Another girl donated a brand new bike she won in a contest, and one grown-up visitor had some history to share.

“A young woman, who came in with her mother, who was 19, walked through, and it was special experience for her because she thanked us for caring for her when she lived here seven years ago,” Watson Children’s Shelter Executive Director Fran Albrecht said.

The home is still accepting holiday gifts, and volunteers, donations, and pantry or toiletry items are always needed. There are several children under five right now, so pull-ups are a popular item.