Homeless housing facility coming to the valley

By: Alicia Gentile Email
By: Alicia Gentile Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Colorado has one of the highest concentrations of homeless people and now a local non-profit is aiming to bridge the gap between homelessness and sufficient employment.

The Moth is a new non-profit, working with people who are homeless in our community since the start of 2013. The organization is aiming to build a small housing project to help individuals transition out of homelessness.

Food, transportation, shelter and housing are all things someone who finds themselves homeless will need to get back on their feet. And The Moth is striving to provide those things with compassion, by empowering individuals to becoming self-sufficient.

Melissa Lewis struggled with homelessness for years, but she was determined to get back on her feet for good and that's when she turned to The Moth for help.

"I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I actually have a really good faith base in my life and I had been praying for something amazing and all of the situation just happened the way it did," said Melissa Lewis.

The Moth is committed to ending the cycle of homelessness by helping people find employment, temporary housing and basic needs, but officials feel they are missing a piece of the puzzle to make their mission complete- a transitional housing facility.

"It's a stepping stone that we're missing in our community that we really need from experiencing homelessness to reaching self-sufficiency- a door to lock can mean a lot to someone, a space to call their own, a little bit of security can help on the road to self-sufficiency," said Mallory Rice, Executive Director of The Moth.

The Moth is looking at a building right now that will have 20 to 30 bed, 16 individual room, a large shared kitchen and living space- providing stability for those working to recover from homelessness.

"It's really hard to find a job without an address, without a phone number, without contact information and every employer in town pretty much knows the address of the homeless shelter," said Rice.

And in case you're confused by the name of the organization, it's an acronym with a special meaning.

"The name was created by the founder of the organization and he named it for this mother so that name stands for Mother's Occupational Therapy Homestead," said Rice.

And for Lewis, she's found a home, a job and is in school and knows fighting homelessness is a community effort.

"I think that the whole community does need to realize there is a problem out here and we all need to work together," said Lewis.

The Moth is kicking off it's fundraising efforts for the new housing facility by hosting a murder mystery dinner tomorrow night at The First Congregational Church.

Every Thursday, The Moth will also be at the Farmer's Market for their Yellow Brick Road fundraiser- they are asking the community to buy a personalized brick to be laid down at their housing facility. The proceeds will go to initial building needs and they hope to complete the project by January of 2014.


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