Shelter talks about closure of Whitman Park
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Considered the center of the homeless in Grand Junction, Whitman Park is closed. Earlier this week, the City of Grand Junction erected metal barricades around the park, citing its plans to reimagine the use of the park in the future.
“As a result of that, there may be more requests for our services: shelter, medical aid, nutrition, transformational, and rehabilitative services,” said Rick Smith, HomewardBound of the Grand Valley director.
It’s only been a couple of days, but HomewardBound of the Grand Valley is already working to make sure they can meet community needs. “We haven’t seen an impact yet,” said Smith. “It just happened a couple of days ago; we’ve had conversations about it with our staff and our board of directors. The issue is how we can meet an increased level of need, should that occur.”
The thought of many in the community is that the closing of the park will leave unhoused residents who once spent their days here looking for another place to seek refuge. “Well, I think a large number of them will probably go to Emerson Park, but again, regardless of where they go, if we see a higher need for our presence, our programs, and our compassion, we will figure out how to make that happen,” said Smith.
A one-size-fits-all solution to homelessness doesn’t exist. Smith says all they can do is be prepared.
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