The Road Home in downtown Salt Lake City will close its doors when the city’s four newly announced shelters are complete. But the organization will likely continue providing services to people in need.
The new shelters, at 150 beds each, will give 600 people a place to sleep at night. The Road Home can sleep about 1100. Matt Minkevitch, executive director of The Road Home, says the clock is running on city, county and state officials to start re-directing people away from shelter and into housing.
“There’s also a clock ticking for those of us working at this agency and some of our partners because the number of people on the streets this year have been noticeably greater,” Minkevitch says.
The Road Home does not own the building at 210 South Rio Grande Street. Shelter the Homeless Inc., a private non-profit does. That organization made the decision to shutter The Road Home. But Minkevitch says his organization is more than a shelter, it’s a non-profit service provider.
Wednesday night, he says, The Road Home will have roughly 1300 people in its shelters downtown and in Murray, including 250 to 275 children.
“At the same time tonight we will have over 1700 people in housing that’s either operated by our agency or is supported through rent payments and private partnerships we have with area landlords,” Minkevitch says. “We’ll have over 800 children in housing tonight who would otherwise be lined up for shelter.”
Construction on the new shelters will begin in 2017. It’s unclear when all four shelters will be complete. In the meantime, Minkevitch stressed The Road Home is providing a range of services to anyone experiencing homelessness.