When Utahns file their state taxes this year, they can also donate to help the homeless. The Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund Tax Campaign was officially launched at Saint Vincent De Paul dining hall in Salt Lake City Friday.
“This project can have a huge impact,” said Pamela Atkinson, a long-time advocate for the homeless, “Every dollar that comes in, it means we can leverage that dollar and get private funds also, but it also means that we’re able to deliver these services for all of our homeless friends.”
Members of the Utah House passed a bill today that would give businesses a tax break if they hire people who are homeless.
Salt Lake County Democrat Brian King crafted the bill that would give businesses a tax credit of between five hundred and two thousand dollars for hiring an individual who is homeless. King said the legislation is designed to help some live more stable lives.
The Utah Housing and Community Development Division says while they saw an overall increase in the number of people who experienced homelessness in 2012 their efforts to end chronic homelessness by 2014 is right on track. That number decreased by almost 10 percent last year and is down 72 percent since 2005. Housing and Community Services director Gordon Walker says while it’s a complicated problem, they’ve found success in providing permanent housing with limited restrictions.
Homeless Veterans in Salt Lake City now have a better chance to get into a warm place to live just as winter weather approaches. The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System along the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City dedicated the new 72 room Valor House today. The Director of the Utah Division of Housing and Community Development, Gordon Walker, says the state is very close to serving every veteran’s needs for transitional and permanent housing and on track to end homelessness in Utah with the 10-year plan. US Navy Veteran Dawn Hemphill is a former homeless drug addict.