Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties awarded $2.7 million through West Mountain Regional Health Alliance

A homeless man and two dogs on the street.
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The West Mountain Regional Health Alliance (WMRHA) was awarded a $2.7 million Transformational Homelessness Response Grant for the Valley Alliance to End Homelessness (VAEH), which will serve Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties in supplying shelter for those without a roof over their heads.

A regional homeless response system collaborative is composed of public and private organizations including Garfield and Pitkin Human Services and Eagle County Homeless Services, Catholic Charities of the Western Slope, Mind Springs Health, Recovery Resources and Salvation Army; the awarded money will seek to support those and need and will aim to “make homelessness rare, brief and a one-time occurrence,” according to a news release from WMRHA.

A grant program that looks to ensure the safety and stability for those to get back on their feet and find housing, WMRHA Executive Director Cristina Gair said the program is only the start in helping end the homeless problem in the western mountain region.

“The biggest problem we see with those who don’t have a roof over their head is the price of housing in this region,” she said. “It’s important that we are able to support those in need, so that they can get back on their feet and find a place that they can call home.”

A three-year collaborative funding grant, the $2.7 million will look to support and transform homelessness response and provide more families and individuals experiencing homelessness with housing.

The second largest grant amount in the state for the first round of the Transformational Homelessness Response Grant Program (THRGP), Gair said the importance of supporting the homeless population in the western region of Colorado is important now more than ever.

“Homelessness is a very challenging issue, which is why there’s funding coming toward it,” she said. “The realization is there’s never been enough funds to be able to address it fully in our region and really across the country, so this is a big step in doing what we can to minimize the numbers that you see surrounding the homeless population.”

A grant received from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and Division of Housing state partners, the allowance will look to come into effect before the fall season. While the grant is official, paperwork and processing still need to take place before the grant becomes available.

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