Salt Lake City will decide where to put two new homeless shelters by November. This week, the city’s Homeless Services Site Evaluation Commission presented a timeline for the process.
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said during Tuesday’s meeting, the city is embarking on the most crucial phase of the site evaluation process.
“It is now time for this city to find locations for two sustainable, safe and community-sensitive homeless resource centers which will serve those in need as well as serve as a model for other communities throughout the state of Utah to replicate in years to come,” Biskupski said.
The new shelters, which city officials are referring to as “resource centers”, will each have 250 overnight beds and a variety of on-site treatment and services. One facility will be for single adult men. The other will be for single adult men, single women and couples. About 1000 people currently spend the night at the city’s existing shelter on Rio Grande. Biskupski’s Deputy Chief of Staff, David Litvak said the goal is to reduce the number of shelter beds needed by emphasizing housing and prevention.
“While we’re asking the public to reimagine what this can look like in our community, we’re also as an entire community reimagining what homeless services looks like,” Litvack said. “And so we have to be careful not to make judgements based on what things look like today.”
City officials say opportunities for public engagement and input will continue through September and October.