United Way Mesa County and community partners use Wells Fargo grant to address homelessness

United Way is launching new education courses and outreach programs to help raise awareness, inspire solutions and help solve the issue of homelessness in the community.
United Way & Community Partners to Use Grant for Homelessness
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 12:12 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - United Way of Mesa County is launching new education courses and outreach programs to help raise awareness, inspire solutions and help solve the issue of homelessness in the community. This was funded by a $25,000 grant from Wells Fargo.

United Way of Mesa County is partnering with a number of agencies including Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County, Grand Valley Catholic Outreach and the Grand Junction Housing Authority to design and implement the free community program.

”This grant is going to be used to create a number of community engagement and education courses related to homelessness here in Mesa County,” said United Way of Mesa County Executive Director Zebulon Miracle. “We’ve all seen that homelessness is a problem that our community needs to face. But often times we’re left wondering what can I do to address that problem?”

The purpose of these classes is to educate our community about what homelessness is, what the causes are and some solutions that anyone can take. The hope is to create community advocates to understand the problem and take action.

“Anybody can be part of this solution,” said Miracle. “What we want to do is design these courses to reach a wide range of audiences. That can be anyone from a business leader, a landlord, a property owner. We want people who want to be part of the solution to have a resource to go to to understand causes and how they can help.”

In person, hands on and virtual community education courses will be designed for different segments of the community. Including business, landlords, real estate, nonprofit, local government and anyone else that wants to be a part of a solution.

The goal of these outreach programs will be to create advocates in our community who will better understand the situation and solutions. United Way and the community partners involved hope to have these courses available this summer.

“Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County has been working really closely with the housing authority, with Catholic Outreach, and with United Way to come up with solutions on how we get from A to B,” said Habitat for Humanity Mesa County Executive Director Laurel Cole. “That starts with education and providing information and resources to the community.”

Habitat for Humanity is an affordable housing resource that gives assistance to people who want to become homeowners by allowing them to build the home themselves.

“There’s no shortage of people in our community in need of a home and they’re in all different stages of trying to get a home,” said Cole. “There’s a place for all of us to work together. From transitional housing to emergency shelters and we’re towards the other end where we can help provide that first time home ownership piece.”

Habitat for Humanity acts as the lender to provide interest free loans to the families. Each homeowner works 500 hours in order to get their home.

One way to help is by shopping at ‘ReStore.’ All money raised beyond payroll goes to the construction fund for the building of homes. You can also volunteer on the job site or at ‘ReStore.’ To find out more, visit https://www.habitatmesa.org

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