HomewardBound was formed 1998 in response to a critical need for winter night shelter for the homeless in the Grand Valley. HomewardBound operates as an independent nonprofit and is the only shelter within a 200-mile radius of Grand Junction. Providing temporary housing for 120 people per night, running transitional programs and collaborating with other organizations to try and meet the greater need, the leadership at HomewardBound knew they needed more space and resources.
In response, the Pathways Family Shelter was launched–the primary goal to help homeless single women and families in the Grand Valley. This three- floor facility can fit more than 140 beds, has a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, kid-friendly rooms and a family clinic. HomewardBound Board Chairman William Wade said the entire project utilized “Trauma-Informed Design,” a relatively new concept that reduces stress and promotes wellness through the design of the building itself. This includes soft color schemes, high ceilings and key card systems that give guests the freedom to move through the facility with fewer restrictions. The family shelter has also made it possible to have modular walls to accommodate different-sized families.
Another major advantage of the women and family shelter is the attached family clinic. This health clinic is run by Marillac Health and the Colorado Mesa University School of Nursing. HomewardBound received funding from a grant that will fully fund the clinic for three full years. Staffing includes full-time nurses, full-time behaviorists, medical assistants and a full-time family navigator. Wade stated, “That will save this community innumerable thousands of dollars on emergency service because they’ll be able to get primary care looked at here.”
“We want people to know that we’re incredibly grateful for the kind of support we’ve gotten from the community to raise the funds to build this facility,” Wade said. “We want them to know that it’s designed not just to house people, but to move them back out into society and be productive members. That’s why it is different from your typical homeless shelter.”
Alpine Bank saw the need for a family-focused shelter that could offer comprehensive, transitional services in Grand Junction and wanted to help. “We had always sponsored HomewardBound’s annual concert event. After a couple of tours and lots of conversations, we knew we had to do more,” said Alpine Bank Mesa County Director of Community Outreach Tawni Kelley. Alpine Bank was the title sponsor for grand opening of the Pathways Family Shelter. “A safe place for women and families in our community is so important. HomewardBound is doing a huge service for our community. We will support them however we can and are very excited to see this vision become a reality,” Kelley added. Learn more about HomewardBound: homewardboundgv.org/.