The Salt Lake City Homeless Services Site Evaluation Commission met to discuss the process for selecting two sites in Salt Lake City for new homeless resource centers.
During the meeting, city staff presented a timeline for identification, review, public engagement, and selection of the two sites by November 1, 2016.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski acknowledged the city is working from an accelerated timeline, but assured Commission members that proposed sites would undergo a complete and thorough review process, incorporating public feedback prior to being finalized.
“It’s safe to say we are about to begin one of the most critical phases of the process of finding new solutions to help those experiencing homelessness in our community,” said Mayor Biskupski. “This phase will require dedication from elected officials and the Homeless Services Site Evaluation Commission, honesty to and from the public, and most importantly, courage and compassion to transform our city.”
“As a Council priority this year, homelessness is on the forefront of our concerns,” said James Rogers, Salt Lake City Council Chair. “There are no easy answers, and we encourage all of our City and all of our State to continue helping us find solutions to a problem many cities are facing across the country. ”
According to the plan, the city will begin a real estate search for locations in areas identified by a geographical analysis of current zoning laws, federal regulations, and space needs determined by the service model developed by the Collective Impact group.
Potential sites will then undergo a standard review by every city department to further identify environmental, zoning and ordinance concerns. Potential sites will also be reviewed and scored using the “success criteria,” which was ranked by residents during public engagement workshops in June as well as online. Administration officials will then present the City Council with a list of up to five sites, for consideration of purchasing options.
Beginning in September the city will conduct a series of public engagement exercises, including educations sessions and tours of homeless resource centers along the Wasatch Front. Once the City Council has approved purchasing options, the initial sites will be presented to the Commission and the public for comments and feedback.
The results of the public engagement process will be reported to the Commission, and a Sub-Committee, consisting of Commission Co-Chairs Palmer DePaulis and Gail Miller, an administration official, and other key stakeholders, will make a recommendation of two sites to the full City Council.
Pending approval by the City Council on the final sites, the city will begin a site development process, which will include property acquisition, selection of an architect, funding request, and city permitting process.