GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — The initial results of the City of Grand Junction’s unhoused needs assessment, conducted June 2023, were presented Monday evening at a City Council workshop. The assessment results are a draft and input will continue to be gathered through the end of the week.

Here are some of the key findings.


  • Grand Junction’s unhoused population is estimated to be 2,300
  • Majority of people experiencing houselessness (PEH) are unsheltered and chronically unhoused (The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines chronic houselessness as an individual or family who has been experiencing houselessness for at least a year, or 4 times within a 3-year period if the combined occasions of houselessness equal 12 months)
  • Mesa County areas where residents face the highest risk of houselessness are central Grand Junction, Fruita, and southeast Grand Junction/Riverside


  • High need for transitional and permanent support housing
  • Service providers and people experiencing houselessness expressed interest in designated areas for legal camping and safe parking
  • Significant shortage of subsidized affordable housing, especially in Clifton

Barriers in unhoused care system

  • Service providers face barriers related to funding. staff capacity, and community support
  • People experiencing houselessness experience barriers accessing housing and supportive services as a result of the cost of housing, service requirements and restriction, and stigma

Engagement with law enforcement and first responders

  • The City of GJ and Mesa County recently developed programs to support people experiencing houselessness interacting with law enforcement and emergency services, but programs are limited by the area’s available resources

Recommendations for strengthening care continuum

  • Service providers want to see local government expand its role in providing a big-picture response to houselessness and supporting a collaborative approach while leaving the role of service provision to existing agencies
  • Community should evaluate and make necessary improvements to each component of their coordinated entry system (process for connecting people experiencing houselessness with services) in order to improve data
  • Perspectives of people experiencing houselessness should be at the center of decision-making