SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH- Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and State Homelessness Coordinator Wayne Niederhauser announced the location of a new temporary homeless community shelter.
The city, in partnership with the State of Utah Office of Homeless Services, will pilot this non-congregate shelter, the first of its kind in the state, followed by a more permanent operation and location to be directed by 2024.
“Our phased approach is strategic and allows us to carefully and effectively implement something we’ve never seen or done before in the state of Utah,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “We need more shelter and housing options to give every resident the greatest opportunity for success. While the city cannot (and should not) endure the homelessness crisis alone, we are wholeheartedly and enthusiastically cooperating in putting this new model to the test.
As a result of funding, support and collaboration between the City of Salt Lake and the State Office of Homeless Services, the first phase of this pilot will promote temporary homeless shelter on a parcel owned by Salt Lake Redevelopment. Agency City along 300 South and 600 West close to transit and services.
The Temporary Shelter Community is expected to serve 50 people from November to April 30. A vendor, to be contracted through the State, will develop and manage the day-to-day operations of the site.
“This non-congregate shelter program increases capacity to support people experiencing homelessness, in addition to more than 600 beds available 24/7 this winter in Salt Lake County,” Wayne said. Niederhauser, Utah Homeless Coordinator. “This is a creative step in a broader journey of solutions to make homelessness rare, short and non-recurring, and I am pleased with the collaboration and goodwill that has brought us to this point .”
Salt Lake City and the State Office of Homeless Services are currently in the process of identifying the best solution for shelters. The aim is to provide a strict capsule like structure on the site that gives each individual a private space. The perimeter will be fenced for security, adequate lighting will be installed and will also include portable toilets and washing stations.
“Ensuring that the city responds with as many different strategies as possible to the humanitarian homeless crisis has been a priority for me from day one,” said Councilwoman Victoria Petro. “It was just a dream a few months ago, when the Council allocated $500,000 for the camp, and here we are with boots on the ground. I am happy to see that this pilot program has become a reality and will continue to work to further protect the dignity and safety of our constituents, protected and unprotected.”
For this pilot to be successful, a top priority is a plan to increase the coordinated efforts of law enforcement, center ambassadors, SLC rangers, designated shelter providers, and others. The plan will be developed to ensure the safety of the residents of the Temporary Shelter Community and the residents and businesses in the surrounding neighborhood.