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Salt Lake City Moves Forward With New Housing for Homeless


Salt Lake City is poised to introduce new housing options for the city’s most needy residents.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker announced last Fall a six-point strategy for improving homeless services and addressing the complex issue of homelessness in Salt Lake City.

The list begins with placing homeless individuals who require the most services into temporary housing scattered throughout the city. Elizabeth Buehler is the city’s homeless services coordinator.

“We’ve identified funding and we’re now in the final application stage for that,” Buehler says. “So hopefully when we get that money we’ll be able to house the 20 most vulnerable individuals who are staying at the shelter or who are around Rio Grande or Pioneer Park.”

The next stage of the plan is to build 300 new permanent housing units for chronically homeless individuals and families. Buehler says staff have already identified enough funding to begin building 80 to 100 units. 

The rest of the plan includes enhancing day services for the homeless, increasing public safety around Pioneer Park by programming activities, and determining the best location for the city’s existing homeless service providers. Buehler says much of these ideas are already being addressed.

“We think that really once we implement all six points, we’ll really improve homeless services in Salt Lake,” Buehler says.

City staff will present an update on the 6-point-strategy to the city council on Tuesday. The council is likely to pass a resolution adopting the strategy as a city policy.  

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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