KPAX: Tester hears concerns from Missoula women

Montana Senator Jon Tester spent Wednesday afternoon listening to a panel of women concerned that Congress may cut basis needs services. He moderated a discussion that dealt with everything from health care and educational programs to housing needs and other public assistance.

“Most, if not every good idea I get, comes from the ground in Montana,” said Tester. “Hopefully we’ll get some good ideas and great input and be able to synthesize that input out and utilize it when we start making policy back in Washington D.C.”

Woman after woman talked about how specific programs provided the assistance they needed. One woman said she received crucial help from the YWCA to escape an abusive relationship.

“I didn’t plan to need help–nobody does,” said Holly Ondrasek. “But when I did, the YWCA support services and the public safety net programs were there to help.”

Another woman spoke about her younger years when she was a pregnant teenager. She said public assistance was invaluable in helping her and her young husband after he got laid off his job and they lost their home.

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