Salt Lake County has unveiled five potential locations for a new homeless shelter. Three of the proposed sites are in West Valley City and the other two are in South Salt Lake.
West Valley City Mayor Ron Bigelow says he was not informed that the county was considering putting a homeless shelter in his city’s boundaries.
“It came as a surprise,” Bigelow says. “I’m somewhat disappointed that there wasn’t more opportunity for input on our part.”
Bigelow says he has reservations about the shelter-resource center model proposed by state and local leaders. He says West Valley already has an affordable-housing based approach to reducing homelessness that works for the city.
Mayor Bigelow also worries about the timeline. A final site will be selected before the end of the month.
“You don’t get good solutions by rushing through something. And the easiest solution is not always the best,” he says.
But the Road Home has a hard closure date of June 2019, so state and local leaders are motivated to get plans in place for new shelters as soon as possible.
For more information and to submit feedback for the site selections, visit homlessfacilitysite.org.