New Chapter Begins at HomewardBound
MESA COUNTY, Colo. A new executive director has taken over at the Homeward Bound Homeless shelter. Experienced in this field, Doug Karl tells NewsChannel 5 he has plans to reduce homelessness in Mesa County. HomewardBound is largest year-round homeless shelter for 100 miles, running the organization is no small task. "Fundraising, management skills, collaboration and community partnerships. Those are the kind of things that are in my background that I'll be able to bring to this organization," said Karl. Interim director A.J. Johnson, said, "I came out of retirement to help out for a while and give it a little forward movement, hopefully I've been able to accomplish some things." Several months ago Johnson stepped in as the board searched for a permanent fixture. "I look for him to take it forward and make it a better place," Johnson said. Karl has worked to cure homelessness in the past. "It's a tremendous goal, to put an end to people being homeless and put them back in stable environments," said Karl. The organization is now moving forward with plans for a family shelter. Karl said, "Very conceptual at this point in time, we have laid out just some very preliminary plans with an architect." "It's not feasible for families to be in this dorm-style environment and have family activities going on, so they need some separation," Johnson said. Building a new shelter will help with the counties 10-year-plan to end homelessness. Karl says they just formed a building committee with the board of directors and the next step will be creating a timeline for the new facility. Johnson said, "Will there always be people that are in need, yes. Will society work towards helping them out, yes. I'd like to say we make some great strides." "I hope to be getting all those things in place so we take the organization forward," Karl said. Grand Junction is Karl's new home, one he's looking forward to making a better place.