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Construction Begins on Youth Homeless Shelter in Salt Lake City

Whittney Evans

Volunteers of America began construction today on a youth homeless shelter in Salt Lake City. 

Every day VOA’s Homeless Youth Resource Center reaches out to homeless youth in the valley to provide basic services and support.  But the current location at 655 South State is not equipped to keep people overnight. Folks who were involved in the project celebrated the new 30-bed shelter by signing hundreds of bricks that were laid down as part of the foundation. Chief Development Officer Zach Bale says it will open 24/7 by spring.

“When we think about the foundation, as we’ve gotten close to opening the center, what we’ve realized is it’s really launching pad,” Bale says. “This is a place for youth to be welcome, supported and empowered.”

Nicole Lowe is a former homeless teenager, drug addict and teen mom. Now she’s an assistant attorney general in the child protection division of the Utah Attorney General’s office. Lowe will be offering free legal services at the shelter.

“I’m not unique compared to the others that were on the streets with me,” Lowe says. “The difference was that no matter how much I raged and tried to destroy my family, when I was ready, I had shelter, food protection and someone to believe in me.”

The six million dollar project is located at 888 south 400 west. It was primarily funded by local families and individuals. 

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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