After weeks of work in coordination with the Salt Lake City Council, service providers, Salt Lake County, and State partners, Mayor Erin Mendenhall today announced the temporary expansion of up to 145 beds available to unsheltered individuals in Salt Lake City.
The Sugar House Temporary Shelter is slated to open in the next week and will be located in a vacant building owned by the city’s Redevelopment Agency (RDA) located at 2234 Highland Drive.
“Every person who seeks shelter during the winter should have access to a safe, warm place to sleep and ability to connect with services. I have heard from our city’s residents, housed and unhoused, philanthropists and business owners, service providers and city employees who share in that strong belief,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “This addition to our current resources represents an evolution of a successful and highly functioning system. Our Homeless Resource Centers are working, and people are taking advantage of their services. But our ability to truly serve the unsheltered population relies on our ability to be agile, to work dynamically to solve emerging issues, and this development is an effort doing just that.”
“The issues facing our unsheltered residents are constantly evolving,” said Chris Wharton, City Council Chair. “But as things change, what is clear is the continuing need to act as good neighbors and as a compassionate community.”
“I know the community of Sugar House, where the new facility will be located, is a caring and giving community,” said Amy Fowler, District 7 Council representative. “I call on my neighbors and the City of Salt Lake to welcome those in need, and to offer what they can to help make the temporary emergency overnight facility a success.”
“The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City has long been engaged in the redevelopment of the Sugar House area,” said Danny Walz, Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City Chief Operating Officer. “Over the past few years, as plans for the relocation of the adjacent City-owned property – Fire Station #3 – have come to fruition, the RDA has supported the interim use of the vacant Highland Drive property as we look to engage the Sugar House community to identify redevelopment goals for a permanent use of the site in the spring.”
The Sugar House Temporary Shelter is a provision for this winter through April 15, 2020 as the city continues to work with providers and stakeholders to assess the scope of needs of the unsheltered population throughout the region and seek out a more permanent solution, including permanent housing.
The Weigand Center at 235 S Rio Grande St. will continue to function as a day shelter and the central hub for homeless services. However, it will no longer function as an overnight warming center. Instead, transportation will be provided to the Sugar House Temporary Shelter from the Weigand Center in the evening and return in the morning to connect back to services at the Weigand Center, making the Sugar House Temporary Shelter available only overnight.