Press Release
August 10, 2023

Salt Lake County Winter Response Plan Accepted by State Office of Homeless Services

SALT LAKE CITY, August 10, 2023 — The Salt Lake County Winter Response Plan has been formally submitted to the State Office of Homeless Services, aiming to provide essential shelter and support for Utahns experiencing homelessness during the upcoming winter season. Remarkably, this represents Salt Lake County's earliest submission of its winter response plan, with the goal of implementing the plan in October to proactively address the imminent winter challenges.

During the 2023 legislative general session, House Bill 499 focused on enhancing shelter provisions and improving resource accessibility for individuals experiencing homelessness. This legislation mandates specific counties to convene a county winter response task force, responsible for crafting a comprehensive county winter response plan. Counties of the first class are required to annually prepare such plans, aimed at augmenting bed counts and developing transportation strategies. Next year, counties of the second class will be required to convene and submit a winter response plan to Utah’s Office of Homeless Services 

Wayne Niederhauser, State Homeless Coordinator, expressed, "The Office of Homeless Services extends sincere gratitude to the council of mayors, city and county leaders, and municipalities for their recent collaborative endeavors. Their unwavering commitment significantly helps protect our most vulnerable community members this winter. These coordinated efforts have emphasized their crucial importance by providing essential beds necessary to ensure the safety and warmth of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Utah during this challenging season.”

The submitted winter response plan outlines critical components, including shelter locations, service provider coordination, implementation timelines, operational hours, provision of services, and associated expenses. The plan introduces an increase in available beds.

Additional beds that have or may come online to meet the 600 bed goal include:

  • 165 beds allocated for aging and medically vulnerable Utahns
  • 50 beds at the Volunteers of America detoxification expansion
  • 65 beds at St.Vincent de Paul
  • 175 beds flexed at the Homeless Resource Centers
  • 170 beds at a new facility to be identified by the task force

The acceptance of the winter response plan follows a review during today's Utah Homelessness Council meeting. Subsequent steps involve collaborative refinement of details with key stakeholders. The executable finalized plan will be presented in September at the Utah Homelessness Council meeting.


About The Utah Office of Homeless Services: The Utah Office of Homeless Services strives to work together with communities to make homelessness in Utah rare, brief and non-recurring by providing statewide support of project services, interventions and system performance measures and reporting.