Missoula, Montana has hundreds of acres of parks where many homeless people set up camp. 600 homeless people now live in the college town, a 300% increase from just a decade ago. It's illegal to camp in the town's parks but since 2018 that rule has not been enforced. A Ninth Circuit appeals decision declared the removal of campers from public places when there are no alternatives for them as cruel and unusual punishment.
Missoula is not able to accommodate all of the homeless in the town of 78,000 people. The sharp rise in rents in the area has also made it difficult for people to stay above water financially and avoid living down by the river. Since 2019 the price of a one-bedroom apartment for rent has increased by 50%. Rents for a one-bedroom have increased by 21% across the nation during that same timeframe.