The State Homeless Coordinating Committee approved funding Tuesday to purchase the third of three properties where new homeless shelters will be built.
Shelter The Homeless, the organization that will oversee the new shelters has already closed on the property in South Salt Lake and is in the process of closing on the High Avenue site, which Salt Lake City currently owns. The State Homeless Coordinating Committee on Tuesday signed off on about $2.5 million so Shelter The Homeless can purchase the third site on 700 south in Salt Lake City, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Janell Fluckiger is executive director of Shelter The Homeless. She says the organization expects to close on that property on November 30th.
“The big thing right now is really just acquiring those properties and then finalizing the design,” Fluckiger says. “The architect is under contract. They’ll start to have some examples to show people by September.”
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says he’s happy with progress state and local officials are making to address homelessness. The Road Home was able to move families out of the Rio Grande shelter by a July 15th deadline for example. But while getting families out of the troubled neighborhood was a priority for McAdams, he says he has some concern that 28 families were moved into motels rather than housing.
“It’s not a great place for families to be,” McAdams says. “Kids need to be in a stable housing environment. And we’ve seen the number of families in motels grow and I’m encouraging The Road Home to double their efforts to get families into housing and out of shelter.”
Salt Lake City Police beefed up their nighttime presence in the Rio Grande neighborhood to combat recent violence. The downtown shelter will close in the summer of 2019.