On May 25, 2010, Grand Valley Peace and Justice sponsored Beyond Charity, an open forum to discuss a community plan to alleviate and end homelessness in our community. With over a hundred people in attendance, presenters spoke of progress and gaps in services that needed to be addressed. Those present brainstormed areas to be addressed and signed up to participate on committees to make change in our community. Now, the Grand Valley Coalition for The Homeless has taken on responsibility for the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness and the work initiated at The Beyond Charity Forum. The Coalition is a collaboration of organizations and individuals who work to address the issue of homelessness in The Grand Valley through education, cooperation and joint efforts.
Grand Valley Peace and Justice is actively involved in the Ten Year Plan, having written goals relevant to the Jobs Committee of the Plan. We are proud to be involved in making life better for those in our community who may be houseless or without a job. For more information on our local Homeless Coalition or to read The Ten Year Plan:
Ten Year Plan Progress Report
Grand Valley Catholic Outreach (GVCO) – 24 units for St. Martin Place Phase II are complete and will open April 2015. Residents must be homeless prior to entry and preference will be given to veterans. GJHA has partnered with GVCO and provided 24 vouchers for this project.
HomewardBound (HBGV) – Reduced length of Shelter stay over past 3 years from an average of 32 to 23 days.
HBGV – Participating in the Pathways Toolkit Workshop to determine gaps and implement plans for Permanent Supportive Housing and a Family Center, to include resources for the homeless.
HBGV – Purchased property for the location of a new family center. A capital campaign has begun with hopes of opening in the spring 2016.
Grand Valley Peace & Justice (GVPJ) – Emergency Shelter Program continues to operate and will likely continue through April 2016. In its 7th season it continues to be a successful combination of churches and non-profit org’s providing an extended sheltering option to single men in partnership with HBGV.
Veterans Administration (VA) – Has ability to refer veterans to GJHA for 165 HUD-VASH housing vouchers in Grand Junction and 14 in Montrose (in partnership with the Montrose Housing Authority).
Grand Junction Housing Authority (GJHA) – 135 Family Stability Program Vouchers in partnership with Mesa Co. Dept. of Human Services (DHS) for homeless families. 35 Shelter Plus Care (Supported Housing Program) Vouchers in partnership with Mindsprings Health (MSH). 40 State Housing Vouchers for chronically homeless mentally ill in partnership with MSH. 20 Vouchers for homeless domestic violence victims in partnership with Hilltop, Latimer House and 4 Vouchers for homeless youth in partnership with The House. 30 Tenant Based Rental Assistance Coupons for homeless families in partnership with School District 51. 24 units of Project Based Assistance awarded to GVCO, St. Martin Place and 40 units of Project Based Assistance awarded to Cardinal Capital and HBGV. 165 VASH Vouchers for homeless veterans. 8 units of Project Based Assistance at Village Park for VOA eligible Veterans.
Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS): Homes For All Vets – helps Veterans avoid homelessness or move into safe, stable housing while addressing the root cause of their homelessness. Services include: rapid rehousing, homeless prevention, navigation benefits and referrals to other community resources.
Volunteers of America (VOA): Colorado Branch Back Home Program – Serves Mesa, Garfield, Montrose, Delta and Pitkin Counties, provides homeless prevention, rapid rehousing, and support services and emergency assistance to Veterans and their families, follow-up by wrap around services designed to help them retain stable housing going forward. In 2014, 72 Households were served. GJHA has set aside 8 units at Village Park Apt.’s for VOA clients.
Center For Independence – Able to help persons with disabilities find appropriate housing that best fits their needs.
Karis – Eight units at Candlewood Housing Project were either sold below market or given to low-income families as permanent housing. Karis still retains ownership of one home.
Karis – Secured funding for the remodel of the Asset House, estimated completion date – summer 2015. The remodel will provide overall cosmetic updates, two additional rooms and additional common space.
Karis: The House, A Safe Place for Western Slope Teens – provides short-term housing with intensive services for young people aged 13 to 20. Provides 10 beds. In 2012-2013: provided 66 unduplicated youth with 2,303 bed nights, 6,909 meals, and over 3,000 hours of case management. Stats show mental health improving for participating youth.
Karis: The Other House, Another Safe Place for Western Slope Teens – The Other House provides long-term/transitional housing for teens/young adults coupled with supportive services. Provides 7 beds.
Karis – Partnership with DHS, GJHA, and Dept. of Local Affairs (DOLA). Together, we are providing homeless teens who have aged out of foster care with 18-month vouchers. We have secured 4 vouchers.
Karis – places a small number of teens in informal host homes (about five). Teens in this program live with local families for an undetermined amount of time.
GVCO – The Day Center continues to provide warm showers, laundry, telephone, mail and storage. Twice a week, in partnership with the Marillac Clinic and St. Mary’s Hospital Residency Program, medical personnel assist with preventative health care, distribute vaccinations and provide testing.
CO Dept. of Corrections – Able to replace prison ID’s, Colorado State ID’s and social security cards for Parolees as well as assist with temporary housing for these individuals.
Mindsprings Health (MSH) – Continues to serve and track individuals as part of the Frontline Intervention Team (FLI). This team works with our community’s highest users of services, most of whom are homeless.
MSH – Has received a number of State vouchers for clients who are homeless with mental health and substance abuse issues. Clients receiving vouchers also receive ongoing case management, therapy and peer support.
MSH – Has several case management teams (CABHI, R2T2, ACT) that provide in home and/or in community support. Teams often outreach clients at the homeless shelter, parks, etc. Once the client is housed, teams continue to follow up with them.
GVPJ – Referral agent for the Ft. Lyon Supportive Residential Community. Ft. Lyon offers individuals job training, educational opportunities and substance abuse treatment in a safe residential community. After Ft. Lyon, reintegration into the community is offered by GVPJ using the High Fidelity Wraparound Model.
GVPJ – One For One is a mentoring program continues and is targeted to expand in 2016. All One For One mentored participants are still housed.
HOPE of the Grand Valley – is able to support and a hand up to individuals who are not homeless, on welfare or receiving housing assistance. This is a group that often falls through the cracks and can then become homeless.
St. Mary’s Hospital: Residency Program – Offering medical and mental health services to clients at GVCO Day Center every Friday with follow up care Marillac Clinic for other needs as identified.
Marillac – Offering medical and mental health services to clients at GVCO Day Center every Monday to include follow up care at a Marillac Clinic or other needs identified.
Marillac – Providing eligibility assistance & care coordination for those staying at HWBD twice a month.
Marillac – Providing on-site eligibility assistance for Marillac services and/or Medicaid enrollment every Tuesday at the Work Force Center.
Marillac – Has increased access to medical, dental and optical care for newly eligible Medicaid individuals and families. A new Medicaid adult dental benefit was introduced in April 2014.
Marillac – Opened a new location at the Mesa Co. Health Dept. in February 2015 offering primary medical care and mental health care. Pediatric dental care will be provided later in 2015.
CO Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) – works with students and families to assist with IEP’s and 504’s in all grades and works to help students who have special needs and/or need assistive technology, adaptive equipment or other services in the classroom.
Karis/Mesa Co. Partners – created a partnership to link homeless teens to long-term mentors.
Karis – established programs for alumni for House Teens which includes: TGIF: a drop-in center where teens can chat, grab a snack, play basketball, and check in with their Teen Coaches, a Gay/Straight Alliance group, an art group and a group for teen mothers. All of these meet weekly. Additionally, mental health services have been extended to alumni and twenty-four slots in a local primary care practice are being provided for House alumni who have Medicaid.
Karis – established Wildly Integrated Mental Health Services program, in partnership with MSH, which allows teens to be with a licensed psychologist in community settings; resulting in dramatic, statistically significant reductions in depression, anxiety, and exposure to harmful substances.
Karis – established a partnership with the DHS that provides a case manager, assigned to The House, who works with teens who have significant interaction with the agency and/or who have aged out of foster care.
GVCO – In partnership with Hilltop, individuals are now able to apply for Medicaid in the GVCO offices, Monday through Friday 9AM- 12PM.
RMHS: ReHire CO – Assists participants with resources to find and keep a job. The emphasis is on Veterans; however, non-Veterans are also accepted. The goal is for employees to gain skills and for employers to find competent and committed employees that they want to retain for permanent positions.
Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program – provide veterans a unique pre-collegiate experience that is designed to remove apprehensions they may have about entering post-secondary education. VUB also gives Veterans without a high school diploma the opportunity to prepare for the General Education Development Test (GED).
GJ Police Dept.: Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) – Published a newly updated version of the “pocket guide” aimed at connecting homeless individuals to service providers in the Grand Valley.
GVPJ/HOT – The Colorado ID Project is an annual event that is due to expand in Summer 2015 in collaboration with HOT. Moving forward, this project will become part of a 2 day Resource Fair aimed at providing information, employment opportunities and access to service providers to our area homeless.
Karis/District 51 – secured a p/t outreach coordinator to provide gateway services to homeless, unaccompanied teens attending District 51 high schools.
Karis – secured a basement on Main Street to serve as a part-time drop-in center for homeless teens.
GVPJ – A collaborative effort with artist Steve Maxwell to resurrect the Faces & Voices Exhibit. This educational tool will include new technology, photos and updates on the individuals who participated in the original interviews. This exhibit will re-open in the fall 2015.
Grand Valley Coalition for the Homeless (GVCH) – October continues to be recognized by the County and City as “Homeless Awareness Month”.
Data Collection and Analysis
GVCH – Full (sheltered and unsheltered) PIT survey to assess number of homeless and services needed completed in January 2015.
CCDC – provides direct, individual advocacy to our clients who experience problems with systems and assists clients with applications, referrals and appeals.
Respectfully submitted by Julie Mamo (Grand Valley Peace & Justice)