Grand Valley residents form A New Home Project to help those in need
WHAT: A New Home Project benefit event
WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 22, noon to 10 p.m.
WHERE: Barons, 539 Colorado Ave., Grand Junction
INFO: Facebook — A New Home Project
Grand Junction residents Amanda Dimmick and Mary Niedzielski have both been affected by homelessness at some point during their lives. Dimmick was homeless with three young boys for a period of time and Niedzielski moved often between cities. Now they want to help others faced with similar problems.
Currently, A New Home Project is trying to raising funds to purchase 100 acres on Westwater Mesa near the Colorado/Utah border within the next six months. The land costs $250,000; organizers hope to buy it and then build 30 energy-efficient homes on it. Each house is estimated to cost $26,000. They currently only have a few thousands dollars to start, so fundraising efforts are integral to their vision.
Prospective residents will be required to help build the homes, too. Once houses are built, a plan for creating sustainable living areas is next. For example, Dimmick hopes to grow food in a community garden.
“It’s about forming a home for people who need one,” Niedzielski said.
If they are able to fund the initial project, New Home Project’s plan will be to house people for a maximum of six months to allow them to find jobs and become self-sufficient. Drug tests will be administered to all applicants. Shuttles could also be provided to job interviews and work.
“We aren’t catering to those who choose to be homeless,” Dimmick said. “It will be a full-time job living there.”
Mesa County currently has around 500 homeless people, according to Beverly Lampley with Catholic Outreach.
Eventually, when the project is in full swing, organizers hope to expand with more homes.
While A New Home Project works on the land purchase, Dimmick and Niedzielski are also interested in possibly purchasing and remodeling the Value Lodge (104 White Ave., Grand Junction). The project is estimated to cost around $2 million (including purchasing it, along with remodeling efforts).
According to Dimmick, the building could be transformed into 13 apartments with three to four bedrooms and some two bedroom spaces. Other imagined amenities include roof-top solar power, a roof-top garden, and a playground.
A New Home Project will host an informational event on Sunday, Feb. 22, from noon to 10 p.m. at Barons (539 Colorado Ave., Grand Junction). The event will include live music by Dirtylektric, Bicycle Annie, Charles King Jr. and more. Dimmick and Niedzielski will be available to meet the public and provide project information. A silent auction is also part of the fun.
For more information, find the project on Facebook at A New Home Project.
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