Press Release
December 1, 2023

State Awards Contract to Switchpoint for Microshelter Community

SALT LAKE CITY, December 1, 2023 — In collaboration with Salt Lake City, Utah's Office of Homeless Services has selected Switchpoint as the operator for the temporary microshelter community, marking a significant milestone as Utah introduces its first microshelter site. The phased approach begins with a pilot program set to launch in December, followed by a more permanent operation in 2024 under state management.

The selected nonprofit service provider, Switchpoint, is poised to play a pivotal role in this innovative venture, offering immediate support and shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness in a unique microshelter setting. The Salt Lake City location for the pilot program, 300 South and 600 West, provides close proximity to essential services, with the temporary shelter community operating from December through April 30, providing vital assistance to approximately 50 individuals during the winter months.

Wayne Niederhauser, Utah's homeless coordinator, affirmed, "The introduction of the microshelter program, in conjunction with the existing 600-plus beds for Salt Lake County's winter response, signifies a notable expansion in our array of solutions, aiming to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. This initiative not only provides immediate relief but also aligns with the overarching goal of addressing the root causes of homelessness, paving the way for stabilization among those in need."

The project's development is already underway. The state acquired individual shelter units from Foldum, which were installed on-site in November. Each unit is fully equipped with beds, heating, air conditioning, and electrical connections for lighting and outlets, ensuring a comfortable and secure environment. The site is enclosed with fencing and well-lit to prioritize safety, and full-time on-site staff will be provided. Portable restrooms and washing stations will also be readily available, upholding the dignity and well-being of those seeking shelter within the temporary shelter community.

“I’m thankful for the close collaboration and partnership with the State Office of Homeless Services on this initiative, the first of its kind in Utah,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said. “Switchpoint is a tried and true provider that will help accelerate the process of opening this new shelter model, providing our most vulnerable neighbors another safe option this winter.”


About 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.