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Salt Lake City Wrapping Up Community Workshops On Homeless Shelters

iStock_39329542_MEDIUM.jpg via J2R

The last of four community workshops where the public can weigh in on the creation of two new homeless shelters in Salt Lake City is Monday night at the Marmalade Branch Library.

After some deliberation, last year, members of Salt Lake City’s Homeless Services Site Evaluation Commission decided one way to address homelessness would be to spread services and shelters out into the community. They could then target the unique needs of different populations like women with children and single men. The commission is expected to select two sites for new smaller shelters by the fall. In the meantime, the city is holding community workshops to get the public involved in the process.

David Litvak is Deputy Chief of Staff for Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. He’s attended all of the workshops so far.

“The input or feedback that we are engaging the community with right now are not, give us sites, tell us where the resource centers should go,” Litvack says. “It’s more around, what does a successful resource center look like to you?”

Litvak says community members who’ve participated in the workshops have expressed a need for safe and secure facilities, and for the people using the services to be engaged in activities that keep them from simply lining up outside the shelter.

The mayor’s office has repeatedly highlighted the YWCA as a good example of a neighborhood shelter with minimal impact to the surrounding community. In a Deseret News op-ed earlier this month, Mayor Biskupski said the neighborhood surrounding the YWCA campus on 300 south and 300 east continues to thrive as the facility’s shelter expands to include housing for teen mothers and other support services. 

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