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Salt Lake City Announces Locations For New Homeless Shelters

Whittney Evans
Lit'l Scholars Learning Center is the location of what will become one of Salt Lake City's new homeless shelters.

Salt Lake City officials have unveiled the locations of its four new homeless shelters. And they’re asking for the public’s cooperation during the transition to the new facilities.

The new sites will be located at 653 East Simpson Avenue in Sugar House, 275 West High Avenue, just Southwest of Smith’s Ballpark, 131 East 700 South, the current location of a Deseret Industries and 648 West 100 South. That’s near many of the existing homeless services in the Depot District. The decision is the culmination of two years of work between Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City and state officials.

City Councilman James Rogers says the city has had a difficult and delicate task in siting the centers.

“While the need is urgent and we must act quickly, this is a generational decision,” Rogers says. “It’s generational decision that requires us to take the time needed to ensure solid and lasting decisions are being made with taxpayer’s money.”

There are more than 1000 homeless people on the streets in Salt Lake City and four new shelters, at 150 beds each will accommodate a total of 600 people. City officials say through increased affordable housing and targeted services they’ll be able to house or shelter everyone living on the streets. 

Some residents and businesses may not be happy with some of the locations. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski urged the public to cooperate.

“What I believe is that this is Salt Lake City and we are a community of courage and we are in this together and that the majority of us, if not all of us will get in the game and help us be successful,” Biskupski says.

Community Workshops are scheduled for January 11th and 18th at the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building. They’ll focus on the design of the new buildings, how to prevent potential negative effects on surrounding neighborhoods, and finally which community of people will go to which shelter.

Construction will begin in 2017. The city’s existing homeless shelter, The Road Home, will close when the four shelters are complete.

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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