Homeless Demand Action, Will Occupy
Grand Valley Homeless Children Need Day Shelter
On Wednesday, September 1, at South 9th St. and the railroad tracks (631 S. 9th St.), Housing First! No More Deaths!, homeless families and other supporters are holding a demonstration to demand action for homeless families. As wonderful of a community as Grand Junction is, there remains a void in services provided to homeless families with children. If this need can not be met before the cold weather of winter comes to the Grand Valley, Housing First! No More Deaths! is ready to take action.
There have been around 500 school-age children identified as homeless in District 51, and there are many more homeless babies and toddlers. There is no designated space in our community for homeless families, some of the most vulnerable members of our community, to safely spend time during the day.
The Catholic Outreach Day Center provides space for homeless adults to do laundry, receive mail, and have shelter from inclement weather during the day. But the Day Center has exhausted their resources and are unable to allow children in their facility. This means that Grand Junction’s homeless children and babies are left out in the elements, and single mothers and fathers are left with nowhere to do laundry or access the Day Center’s other services.
Homeless families, who are a rising percentage of homeless people nationwide, need a place to be during this time of a rough economy and high unemployment. It’s time for our community to step forward and fill this void. “If it comes down to it, our organization is willing to take direct action to reclaim an unused space for the purpose of providing safety and warmth for the homeless kids of Grand Junction,” Housing First! No More Deaths! organizer Jacob Richards said. “But we are confident that our community can recognize this need and provide an adequate solution, before families have another winter on the streets.”
“There are a lot of people working on the houseless issue in the Valley, but there still isn’t a place for homeless kids to be during the day, except riding the bus or going to the library,” Housing First! No More Deaths! organizer Mallory Rice said. Children are our future, and we need to step up to fill this gap and to keep the children in our community safe during these hard times.