Salt Lake County Winter Response Plan finalized during Utah’s Homelessness Council Meeting
Salt Lake City—The Salt Lake County Winter Response Plan was finalized at today’s Utah Homelessness Council meeting. This plan is poised to offer indispensable shelter and support services to those experiencing homelessness across Utah during the impending winter season.
During the 2023 legislative general session, House Bill 499 focused on enhancing shelter provisions and improving resource accessibility for individuals experiencing homelessness. This legislation mandates specific counties to convene a county winter response task force, responsible for crafting a comprehensive county winter response plan. Counties of the first class are required to annually prepare such plans, aimed at augmenting bed counts and developing transportation strategies. Next year, counties of the second class will be required to convene and submit a winter response plan to Utah’s Office of Homeless Services.
Wayne Niederhauser, the State Homeless Coordinator, conveyed his appreciation, stating, “The Office of Homeless Services extends gratitude to the Salt Lake County council of government, city and county leaders, municipalities, and the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness for their recent collaborative endeavors. Their unwavering commitment significantly contributes to safeguarding our most vulnerable community members during this winter season. These concerted efforts underscore their pivotal role in ensuring essential shelter and warmth for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Utah amidst this challenging season.”
The winter response plan outlines critical components, including shelter locations, service provider coordination, implementation timelines, operational hours, provision of services, transportation, security, and associated expenses. The plan introduces an increase in available beds.
Initial implementation for winter response includes the following 510 beds with additional beds and resources being added throughout the winter:
- 175 additional beds between the three Homeless Resource Centers
- 170 beds at West Valley City Overflow site operated by Switchpoint
- 65 beds at St.Vincent de Paul
- 50 beds at the Volunteers of America Detoxification Expansion
- 50 beds at the Non-Congregate Temporary Shelter Project
Winter overflow operations are scheduled to commence on October 16, 2023 with beds available at the West Valley City Overflow location and increased capacity at all three Homeless Resource Centers. Additional beds identified in the winter response plan are anticipated to be available by the end of November 2023 including the 50 non-congregate temporary shelter project beds that were identified outside the winter response plan.
About The Utah Office of Homeless Services: The Utah Office of Homeless Services strives to work together with communities to make homelessness in Utah rare, brief and non-recurring by providing statewide support of project services, interventions and system performance measures and reporting.
About The Utah Homeless Council: The Utah Homeless Council ensures that services provided to individuals experiencing homelessness are utilized in a cost-effective manner and works to facilitate a better understanding of homelessness. The council is also responsible for providing final approval for the homeless services budget, strategic plan and award of funding for the provision of homeless services.
About The Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness: The Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness aims to render homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. We do this through a system-wide commitment of resources, services, data collection, analysis, and coordination among all stakeholders