Back in 2009, a news story alerted me to Grand Junction's lack of a place for homeless families to be during daytime hours when shelters were closed. Imagine dragging your kids around the mean (and cold) streets of any town during the day...it's unthinkable!
After some public pressure generated through Change.org, Laurie Kadrich, GJ City Manager, assured me that they'd find a solution. Apparently that promise has faded.
Before it gets cold (though cold temperatures are not the only challenge for homeless families), let's pressure Ms. Kadrich to address this, um, oversight. Grand Junction, wanting to be "the best city west of the Rockies by 2025," needs to take better care of homeless families.
(OK, I'd actually prefer that they made sure families didn't end up homeless, but until that happens...) Homeless families need a safe, welcoming place to go during the hours that shelters are closed. The reality of finding babies in snowbanks isn't that far-fetched. Wonder if that would change things?
The news is reporting that this issue was not solved, and homeless families in Grand Junction have no place to be during daytime hours. That is inexcusable!
We urge you to immediately address this dreadful shortcoming. Sit down with community leaders and homeless families and figure out how to provide a welcoming place for homeless families during the day. Finding babies, small children, or anyone dead in a Grand Junction snowbank shouldn't be an option. But until this inane policy changes, it will be.