Administrators who run The INN Between were at the state Capitol this week asking lawmakers for money to expand its operations. The hospice provides end-of-life care for homeless individuals who might otherwise be in the shelter or on the streets.
The INN Between, which is housed in the old Guadalupe School on Salt Lake City’s west side is the first facility of its kind in the state. Executive Director Kim Correa says the original plan to renovate the old Guadalupe school would require expensive seismic upgrades. A new building, however would cost less and better suit residents’ needs. She’s asked lawmakers for $850,000 to get started on development.
“And then we would of course reach out to the funding community to raise in all likelihood the remainder of probably a $6 million project,” Correa says.
Correa hopes the new building would allow The INN Between to serve at least 25 clients at a time.
She says the terminally ill homeless are the highest users of 9-1-1 and emergency rooms.
“Once they’re placed at a facility like The Inn Between, the unnecessary 9-1-1 calls stop,” Correa says. “At $2,000 per call with medical transport, that’s a considerable savings.”
When presented with the request Monday, in the Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee, Republican Senator Brian Shiozawa, a physician, said it makes sense financially.
“Having people cared for in a compassionate setting here is far better than being in a hospital, where it’s going to cost us as taxpayers via our other funds so much more and it’s so much better for the patient,” Shiozawa said.
Many of The INN Between’s residents have late-stage cancer, heart disease or liver disease. Correa says 50 homeless people die on the street each year.