The City of Grand Junction is collaborating with Homeward Bound of Grand Valley and United Way of Mesa County to create a Resource Center that is planned to open in December of 2023.
Resource Center services will be provided in a hard-sided pavilion that can be cooled and/or heated depending on the weather and will include portable restrooms, showers, and an opportunity for meals to be provided in one location along with a centralized space for service providers to offer resource navigation for unhoused community members. When constructed, the Resource Center will operate with low barriers to entry. The center is planned to be staffed and operated by Homeward Bound, with other providers delivering services and meeting basic needs. Homeward Bound will provide professional staff at the site during hours of operation and will work with a collective of other service providers that will meet regularly to help inform and steer the overall direction of the Resource Center to ensure it is meeting the community’s needs. Homeward Bound has indicated that there will be office space available for service providers in the facility that will provide mental health counseling, medical and other services.
Grand Junction City Council voted unanimously last Wednesday to approve a resolution authorizing the city to use $912,400 in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to purchase the pavilion and a restroom and shower trailer to be placed on the site, and for related start-up costs as well as initial operational costs. The pavilion structure and the mobile shower and bathroom trailer are movable and are intended to be located on the site for up to two years. A supplementary budget appropriation for the funds was also approved on first reading Wednesday, with a public hearing to finalize the ordinance scheduled for Wed., Nov. 15, 2023. Additional funding for the center operations will be designated in the adopted 2024 city budget.
Homeward Bound and United Way, with input from the city, have identified the city owned property at 261 Ute Ave. for the Resource Center and the equipment ordering is being expedited so the facility can be open in December of 2023.
The Center is currently intended to be temporary, and the longer-term future of the center may be dependent upon the evolving community needs as strategies are further developed from the Unhoused Needs Assessment.