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Salt Lake City announces joint effort to pilot a temporary shelter community

Salt Lake City—Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and the state’s homeless coordinator Wayne Niederhauser, announced the location of a new Temporary Shelter Community today. The city, in partnership with the Utah State Office of Homeless Services, will pilot this first-of-its-kind in Utah non-congregate shelter, followed by a more permanent operation and location to be led by the State in 2024.

“Our phased approach is strategic and allows us to thoughtfully and effectively implement something we have never seen or done before in the State of Utah,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said. “We need more options for shelter and housing to give every resident the greatest chance of success. Though the City cannot–and should not–shoulder the homelessness crisis alone, we are wholeheartedly and enthusiastically partnering to pilot this new model.”

As a result of funding, support, and collaboration between Salt Lake City and the State Office of Homeless Services, phase one of this pilot will advance a temporary non-congregate shelter on a Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency-owned parcel along 300 South and 600 West with close proximity to transit and services. The Temporary Shelter Community is anticipated to serve 50 unsheltered individuals beginning in November through April 30. A provider, which will be contracted through the State, will develop and manage day-to-day operations on the site. 

“This non-congregate shelter program increases capacity to support individuals experiencing homelessness in addition to the 600+ beds that will be available 24/7 this winter in Salt Lake County,” Wayne Niederhauser, Utah Homeless Coordinator, said. “This is a creative step in a much larger journey of solutions to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring, and I am pleased with the collaboration and goodwill that brought us to this point.”

Salt Lake City and the State Office of Homeless Services are currently in the process of identifying the best solution for the shelters. The goal is to provide pod-like, hardsided structures on site that would give each individual a private space. The perimeter will be fenced for security, appropriate lighting will be installed, and the site will also include portable restrooms and washing stations.

“Ensuring the City responds with as many diversified strategies as possible to the humanitarian crisis of homelessness has been a priority for me since day one,” said Councilwoman Victoria Petro. “This was merely a dream a few months ago when the Council appropriated $500,000 for sanctioned camping, and we are already here with boots on the ground. I’m thrilled to see this pilot program become a reality and to continue working to further protect the dignity and safety of our constituents—both sheltered and unsheltered.”

A plan for increased, coordinated efforts by law enforcement, Downtown Ambassadors, SLC Park Rangers, the determined shelter provider, and others is a top priority in order for this pilot to be successful. The plan will be developed to ensure safety and security for both the residents of the Temporary Shelter Community and the surrounding neighborhood residents and businesses.

For more information about the Temporary Shelter Community pilot, visit www.slc.gov/temporaryshelter