No help for homeless vets
One thing appears certain with regard to the Grand Junction City Council’s attitude toward the homeless problem.
Council members are more interested in regulating panhandlers than helping homeless veterans get off the streets.
On Monday, the council pulled an about-face and refused to pay development fees — which it had done twice before — for a third Catholic Outreach housing project.
By a 4-3 vote, the council sent Sister Karen Bland, Catholic Outreach executive director, a simple message: Your work isn’t important to us.
The council’s refusal to honor its historic support of the project causes two problems. First, it puts Catholic Outreach in a cash crunch and, second, it jeopardizes its ability to compete for future grants. Sister Karen said donors usually want assurances that the local government has buy-in for these projects.
The council’s decision (technically, it placed Catholic Outreach’s $110,000 request on hold) comes at a time when the city is projecting year-end cash reserves in excess of $19 million.
“You cannot end homelessness without homes,” Sister Karen said. If the council truly wants to affect how the homeless population interacts with the general public, it’ll rethink its stance on the issue.