The first phase of the Grand Junction Unhoused Needs Assessment was completed in November when JG researchers Erika Berglund, Suzanna Powell, and Brandn Green traveled to Grand Junction, CO to present to city council and Mesa County Commissioners. According to the study, there are currently about 2,300 unhoused people in the Grand Junction (GJ) area, a majority of whom are unsheltered.
The GJ Area Unhoused Needs Assessment (draft needs assessment linked here) (presentation to city and county commissioners linked here) triangulated across many data sources to compile a comprehensive and integrative look at houselessness in the Grand Junction area in order to assess what is needed to enhance the community’s strategy to precent and respond to the experience of houselessness. During JG’s presentation in November, the work was received by city and county leadership, many giving the feedback that the methodology was robust and they felt well informed and learned a lot about the extent of houselessness and the housing and supportive resources available in their community.
The intent of the first phase of the needs assessment was to document and share the data, which will inform but be kept separate from the second phase, which is focused on strategy building. While in Grand Junction, the JG team facilitated brainstorming sessions based on the data available from the needs assessment and best practices gathered from communities across the country in order to workshop potential strategies for addressing houselessness in the GJ area. The second phase will be city led but with an approach representative of community feedback in order to determine which of these strategies GJ will take on, who will be responsible, and the sources of funding needed. This second phase will result in a forward-thinking strategy report that will be presented in January of 2024.
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