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Families Move Out Of The Road Home, Meeting Deadline

Whittney Evans
Lorie Tonge packs up her belongings to move into a new apartment.

The Road Home shelter in Salt Lake City met its state-imposed deadline for moving all families out of the facility by July 15th.

About 80 families moved out of the shelter over the last six weeks and into either the family shelter in Midvale or housing. Matt Minkevitch is executive director of The Road Home. 

“We have others that were within maybe just a few days of moving out of the shelter and into housing. And we helped those families move into motels,” he says.

Prioritizing motel stays for families who already have a housing plan frees up bed space in the Midvale family shelter and prevents long-term motel stays. Minkevitch says they’ve identified and excluded motels that are notorious for criminal activity.

The state approved funding this year for homelessness and housing, including $750,000 in rental assistance and hotel vouchers, to help The Road Home fast-track efforts to stabilize families. But the money came with the expectation that The Road Home move families out for good. 

Minkevitch hopes the progress can be sustained as the entire shelter system is restructured and the downtown shelter closes in 2019. 

“There’s a lot that we need to work out,” he says. “We don’t know how many more families are going to be coming to us over the course of the days and months to come. But now we have another tool to help those families.”

Minkevitch says his organization wants to be a part of any effort to identify or develop much-needed affordable housing options-so that people can move seamlessly out of the shelter or even better, avoid it altogether. 

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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