Press Release
November 21, 2019

Salt Lake area homeless system prepared to serve homeless individuals through winter
Three new resource centers are open as the old, downtown shelter closes

SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 21, 2019) — Almost 300 men experiencing homelessness have moved into the new Men’s Resource Center in South Salt Lake from the old shelter in downtown Salt Lake City. The Road Home, which operates both facilities, assisted men with the moves starting on Monday. As of today, the downtown shelter is no longer providing services and will be closed entirely next week after The Road Home staff has fully moved out. 

“I’ve been incredibly impressed with The Road Home staff and with the men who are moving,” said community advocate Pamela Atkinson, who assisted with the moves this week. “Everything has gone smoothly, and there are many men who were initially hesitant to move, but have been very pleased to see how nice the new facility is and how welcoming the staff are.”

As of Thursday afternoon, there was still limited room for men in the new resource center. Anyone seeking shelter is encouraged to call 801-990-9999. 

Housing Campaign 

The focus of the new homeless service delivery model is to move people into housing, and on Oct. 30, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County and the state announced a housing campaign to move additional people into housing during this transition. David Litvack, Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s Deputy Chief of Staff, reported that 12 people have been housed as a part of that campaign, and an additional 34 people are in the process of moving into housing over the next two weeks.

While 25 landlords have responded to the elected leaders’ Oct. 30 call to action, there is still a need for more one-bedroom and studio apartments.

“The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City and their partners are working hard to connect homeless individuals with appropriate units in a way that benefits both the resident and the landlord,” said Litvack. “We’re asking landlords and property managers to continue to reach out to the housing authority and work with them to fill your vacant units.”

New Service Delivery Model and Warming Center 

As a part of the commitment to ensure everyone has a place to get out of the cold, the Weigand Homeless Resource Center, which operates as a day center, will also serve as an overnight “warming center.” There, people experiencing homelessness can connect to resources and find a warm place to stay out of the elements, if other shelter options are full. 

Access for all shelter beds in the new system goes through a single coordinated intake phone number. As a first option, intake staff seek to divert people from shelter back to a safe housing option with family or friends. They may also be connected to a bed at a new homeless resource center or some other kind of service provider, such as mental health or drug treatment or a domestic violence shelter. Providing a hotel/motel voucher for a period of time is another option. After capacity is reached at the homeless resource centers, then people may be referred to the St. Vincent de Paul overflow, and lastly to the warming center.

The three new homeless resource centers have the capacity for 460 men and 240 women (families and youth are served in other facilities). Because demand on the shelter system is generally higher in the winter, St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall is used as an overflow shelter from October to April, and can accommodate 58 people. Hotel/motel vouchers are also used as needed. Coordinated intake will utilize the full shelter system, which includes more than 1,100 shelter beds for single individuals, more than 350 units of transitional housing, more than 300 units of residential treatment and 2,500 units or vouchers for permanent supportive housing.