Local and state officials are working to open three new homeless shelters to replace some of the beds that will be lost when The Road Home Shelter downtown closes next summer.
Two of those planned shelters in Salt Lake City are on schedule to be completed next year. A third, in South Salt Lake is getting a late start. South Salt Lake is still navigating the permit process for the 300-bed men’s shelter it will host.
Mayor Cheri Wood said the South Salt Lake lot needed more prepping for development than the Salt Lake City sites.
“They were trying to have us run at the same pace but we could never do that because we had this big first step that had to be addressed,” Wood said.
The South Salt Lake City Council called an emergency meeting Wednesday. They’re worried the city might miss a June 30 deadline and prompt the state to take over the project. That’s not something Mayor Wood is worried about. She said her city will be involved regardless. But some council members fear they’ll lose some leverage in the project if that happens.
Preston Cochran is executive director of Shelter The Homeless, the organization that will own and oversee the new shelters. He said most of the stakeholders involved would prefer the process to move forward in the South Salt Lake planning department, rather than at the state.
He said the holdup in South Salt Lake is largely a dispute about property lines.
“I don’t know what else Shelter The Homeless can do other than encourage South Salt Lake to act quickly, but I’m hopefully they could get things sorted out before the deadline.”
Both Cochran and South Salt Lake Cherie Wood said they’re confident the shelter will open by the time The Road Home closes.