The Other Side Village is a go
Last night, as the temperatures started to drop and the night got dark, someone got ready to spend a cold night in a tent on the streets of Salt Lake City. Someone else pulled together enough to cover them and blunt the cold from a cold concrete doorway or in other places not meant for human habitation. What they didn’t realize was that a few blocks away, at the same time they were hunkering down for a cold fall night, the Salt Lake City Council voted for a project that will change their life.
Last night, the Salt Lake City Council unanimously voted to approve the rezoning amendment and agreement relating to The Other Side Village.
It might take six months or maybe a few years, but we are certain that someone who spent the night on the streets of Salt Lake last night will become one of the future residents of The Other Side Village and will come to realize the good that happened last night.
It is now:
All systems go. Green light. Full steam ahead.
We have reached this point because of hard work, not just by the Village team, but by so many others.
We recognize the leadership of Mayor Erin Mendenhall for having the political courage to partner with us and embrace a model new to Salt Lake.
We are grateful to the Mayor’s staff for the countless hours of preparation, negotiation and patience with us as we stumbled through city processes we didn’t always understand or appreciate. A special thanks to Tammy and Blake as well Brian Wilkinson for his wise guidance.
We are grateful to the City Council for their careful deliberation of this innovative project. We respect how the Council members cared for their constituents, for their districts, and for those vulnerable populations we hope to serve. A special thanks to Alejandro Puy who help broker some last-minute items that help us reach the unanimous vote.
We appreciate the Glendale and Poplar Grove neighborhoods who have welcomed us into their communities. We respect your concerns about safety, crime and quality of living and we commit to be stalwart in delivering on our commitments and being aligned in efforts to improve the West Side. A special thanks to those from these communities who had the courage to stand up and voice their support for the Village.
We appreciate the hundreds of supporters who have written a letter, spoke up in our behalf, responded to a comment online, made social media posts, and who have helped in so many ways. A special thanks to Dave Dixon, Lew Swain, Joey and Becky Buchan and the team at Denton House. Thanks to Mike Lee for the early architectural designs and for all the others who have helped with surveys, soil testing, pit digging, and other fun work.
We appreciate the donors who believed in the model and made their donations even before we had the land locked down. We are honored to announce the generous donation of $1 million from The Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation for the construction of the Medical and Mental Health Clinic. We thank the taxpayers of Utah for the $4 million grant to be applied to the construction of the Village.
We are grateful to our service partners for their commitment and support. Valley Behavioral Health is already providing mental health services for participants within the Welcome Neighborhood.
Our next big task is a focus on building the Village. We have already done a lot of work on this, but we still need to get the development plan, which includes the site and landscaping plans, approved by the City. We have to finish up some environmental testing and some remediation as required by the State Department of Environmental Quality and we have to finalize our legal agreements with the city.
But we are now moving into the phase where construction will be the primary focus of our activities. We are still looking for firms, companies, and individuals who might want to sponsor or build a home within the Village. We also are looking for donations to help launch our social enterprises and to help fund our community buildings such as the Neighborhood Center or our Community Center. We need to raise another $3 million to fund the rest of the Village construction.
We are also looking for donations of trees, bushes, and greenery for landscaping.
Please email me if you feel like you or your organization could help in any of these ways.
Do you want to work for the Village or do you know someone who has the following skills? We need to fill the following positions. We are willing to have these be paid positions but we would welcome those who might want to volunteer in these positions:
A Construction Manager / Superintendent – to oversee the various parties building the homes and the community buildings and coordinating off-site construction and volunteer workers.
A Pastry Designer – We are looking for someone with extensive experience in creative designs using icing, frosting, gels, fillings, flavorings and candies. This will be to work in one of our social enterprises.
Social Media Expert – We are looking for consulting with the possibility of full-time employment to make our social media presence for the Village and for our Social Enterprises sizzle, build followers, and manage creative campaigns and customer engagement.
Feel free to pass these job opportunities along to your network if you know someone who has the right talents and experience in these areas. If someone is interested in one of these positions, they can reach out to me at [email protected]
I am smiling as the sun is brighter and the world is more wonderful with us reaching this significant milestone. Thank you for being part of our journey.
The Other Side Village
The Other Side Academy