GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — The City of Grand Junction released its unhoused needs assessment earlier this week. WesternSlopeNow is taking a deeper look at the results.
The demographics and socioeconomics show the reasons for becoming unhoused fall under three categories: economic, social and health. Some of those reasons include increased costs of living and housing, violence or abuse in the household, substance use disorder and mental or physical disability of the person or a family member.
The assessment found an estimated 2,300 people who are unhoused in Grand Junction — that includes those staying outside, in a shelter, and/or “doubled up” with a friend or family member.
The proportion of unhoused population who are unsheltered is shockingly high at 60% the last time data was gathered.
The assessment also found Native American/Alaskan Native and Black individuals are overrepresented among the unhoused, relative to the general population of Grand Junction.
The numbers reveal another hidden tragedy — among the local unhoused are a significant number of children. The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) shows 341 known families, while the By-Name List (BNL) shows 254. HMIS and BNL are used by service providers to help keep track of and support the unhoused, particularly those who are chronically unhoused in the case of BNL. The survey also shows it’s unknown where several children in Mesa County schools are living.
This is part of a series breaking down the different sections of the City of Grand Junction’s unhoused needs assessment.