New information about Grand Junction’s homeless problem and how the city hopes to solve it

Homeless crisis still graphic.
Homeless crisis still graphic.(FOX 11 Los Angeles)
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 3:29 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - We told you last week the city plans to interview at least 50 homeless people between now and the end of December. Click here to read a copy of the questionnaire.

It’s geared at understanding how people became homeless and what keeps them that way.

Estimating how many people in Grand Junction are homeless is tough. Volunteers counted 482 during the national Point in Time survey done in January of 2022.

But experts say there are far more than that.

For instance, District 51 reported homeless numbers of 638 students in 2021. This past September the tally came in at 807.

There are housing waiting lists, some we’re told, stretch forward three years.

Balance that with the roughly 200 shelter beds available. Advocates know there are no simple solution.

“Even if people get into shelters, how long can we shelter them there? And then where do they go? Right? Housing is a larger concern than just homelessness. If we get people out of homelessness, where do they go? Then I think that’s kind of a bigger community issue. One that is not just a city problem, right? That’s a community problem,” said Ashley Chambers, the city’s Housing Manager.

The city spent $750 in Walmart Charitable gift cards as an incentive for the first 100 people to participate That money cannot be used for alcohol and tobacco. Another $300 was spent on meals training the volunteers.

It’s hoped the survey provides a tangible action plan for the city and service providers.