Moffat County commissioners offer support for Housing First Alliance of Craig |

Moffat County commissioners offer support for Housing First Alliance of Craig

Letter of support allows Housing First Alliance of Craig to seek funding from an Emergency Solutions Grant for emergency homeless shelter

As one door seemingly closed on the Housing First Alliance of Craig last week, another door opened this week as county commissioners approved a letter of support for the alliance in its pursuit of an Emergency Solutions Grant for an emergency homeless shelter in Craig.

Following no action taken by Craig city council on Feb. 9, Hannah Wood and the rest of the Housing First Alliance of Craig appeared out of options until Tuesday morning.

During its bi-weekly commissioners’ meeting, Moffat County commissioners Donald Broom, Melody Villard and Tony Bohrer unanimously approved a letter of support for the alliance, clearing a path for the group to apply for an Emergency Solutions Grant in hopes of receiving funding for a potential emergency homeless shelter in Craig.

Prior to the vote, Villard issued a statement on the letter of support, addressing any concerns the community may have.

“We’ve received numerous letters, both in support of and against this letter of support,” Villard stated. “I just wanted to say that this group that has come together is not just addressing the people in the public that we typically see, in various states of homelessness, but a lot of our other constituents in need here locally. We applaud Hannah for her efforts in putting this all together, but I don’t think it’s our role as commissioners to put a hurdle in her way in going out and seeking grants that could support constituents in our community that are in need.”

Villard went on to address concerns about building a homeless shelter in Craig and possibly seeing people from outside the community make their way here for services that are already stretched thin, but added that the grant opportunity the alliance is seeking could also help fund other community programs that are attempting to service the same people.

This group has done a lot of work with support services in our community,“ Villard said.” I do agree there is a concern about them coming here, but the bigger concern is that they’re already here, so can we manage that in a controlled situation as well?“

Bohrer added that the decision to issue a letter of support does not mean the county will fund the project.

“I would reiterate that the county at this time or in future time, the county is not throwing money at this,” Bohrer said. “It’s not in our budget, nor would it be in our budget in the future.”

The decision by commissioners to approve the letter of support comes nearly 6 months after Wood began working on a possible homeless solution.

Wood had previously explained to councilors and commissioners the need for an emergency homeless shelter for the winter months in Craig dating back to October 2020. From there, Wood then helped form the Housing First Alliance of Craig with other nonprofits in the community in hopes of pushing the process forward.

In late January, Wood partnered with Homeward Bound Grand Valley, bringing in the Grand Junction organization as a fiscal agent of sorts to help push the project forward.

Now, Housing First Alliance awaits the awarding of funds for the Emergency Solutions Grant.

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