Mesa County Leads State in Reducing Homelessness
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- Colorado is calling Mesa County a leader in ending homelessness.
Mesa County was the first in the state to conduct a vulnerability survey, which identifies each homeless persons needs and abilities to help move them in a more positive direction.
Organizations like the Grand Junction Housing Authority, Homeward Bound, the Department of Human Services, and the Catholic Outreach, are being recognized by the Governor's office on how much of an impact they're making to our community.
"Identify the need and addressing the needs of homeless veterans; we just want to learn from Grand Junction," said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia.
Since the vulnerability survey was taken last March, 71 people now have a home and 87 percent of the housing vouchers are being utilized.
"It's just phenomenal, it just depicts what we do in Mesa County and Grand Junction," said Bill Pitts, Mayor of Grand Junction.
"There's so much assistance out there, but it's just letting people know that it's available," said Richard Nye, veteran.
Out of the 427 surveys conducted, 89 of those homeless folks were veterans.
"If you recognize that there's an issue and then commit as a community to addressing it, you can make great strides. We need to do that as a state," said Garcia.
One veteran who has lived at a Catholic Outreach housing facility since it opened, says without it, he could be living on the streets.
"I could be living out underneath a covert, in a ditch next to a river," said Nye.
With the support and encouragement Nye receives through the many organizations, he says he's a lot to be thankful for.
"I've got neighbors and good friends, so I'm home," said Nye.
Saturday Feb. 9, there's a benefit to raise money for the Catholic Outreach, Agape Food Bank, and Child and Migrant Services.
The 2013 Ice Bowl Disc Golf Games starts at 11:30 a.m. at Riverbend Disc Gold Park in Palisade.
It costs $25 to participate. There will be an after party and a silent auction at the Peach Street Distillery.
Since 2005 the golf club has raised over $45,000 for local nonprofits.