Nonprofit looks for help for homeless

HomeAid Colorado is looking for partners in Grand Junction to assist the working homeless and those who have temporarily fallen on hard times.

The nonprofit organization met with members of the Housing and Building Association of Northwest Colorado and Commissioner Steve Acquafresca recently. From that initial encounter could sprout new services for people struggling to find housing in Grand Junction.

“We were actually invited to come out,” said Laura Brayman, executive director of
HomeAid Colorado.

HomeAid is based in Denver and primarily focuses efforts on the Front Range. The two-decade-old organization works with individuals and families who have temporarily stumbled upon hard times.

“They are not the people who will stand on the street corner with a sign. In fact, they are embarrassed,” she said.

To assist the temporarily-homeless population, HomeAid usually works with local builders and charitable organizations. The builders have the community connections to accomplish projects efficiently and cost-effectively. The local charities — such as Catholic Outreach, the Homeward Bound homeless shelter and The Salvation Army — have the pulse of the community and know where the needs are greatest.

Exactly what HomeAid and local builders are planning is not clear, but whatever it is will be accomplished in a little more than a year, said Debbie Rich, executive officer of the Housing and Building Association of Northwestern Colorado.

“We are not going to build from the ground up a homeless shelter,” Rich said. “We just know of a couple different organizations that have been in the community for a long time, they need help, the kind of help HomeAid offers.”

Rich said the builders have a couple community organizations in mind that they would like to assist. The assistance could be anything from donations of building supplies to actual construction, she said.

Acquafresca said the county has an annual allotment of federal dollars (known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). The state Legislature recently passed a law mandating counties spend their TANF allotments to assist families in need. Acquafresca said Mesa County may spend some of those dollars on whatever project HomeAid and the home builders decide upon.


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