In order to appropriately serve those experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake during the winter months, it is critical Salt Lake City work collaboratively with the State of Utah, Salt Lake County, and on-the-ground service providers. While the administration of Mayor Jackie Biskupski is confident that the existing emergency shelter plans in place are sufficient for the coming winter, we are implementing steps to ensure any additional needs are allocated based on sound data, and without setting additional precedent for the city.
Activate St. Vincent de Paul
For years, the St. Vincent de Paul dining hall, directly across the street from the Road Home, has served as a temporary emergency shelter during the winter months. The facility allows individuals experiencing homelessness to stay close to current services, including the Road Home, Wiegand Day Center, and the personal belongings storage offered by Salt Lake City.
It will require approximately $250,000 to activate St. Vincent de Paul as an emergency resource, and Salt Lake City is working with Catholic Community Services and the Road Home to identify funding which can be put into place if necessary.
Salt Lake City and the service providers are hopeful this overflow space will cover the needs of the population, as it has for the last few years. Last year, an average of 80 individuals used the space each night it was open.
Population Assessment and Screening
Each year in January, Salt Lake County engages in what is known as a “point-in-time” count of the population currently experiencing homelessness in the area. This count allows service providers and government agencies to better direct resources and plan for the coming years.
In November, Salt Lake City will provide support to the County and the Utah Department of Workforce Services to engage in an additional population assessment and screening of the entire community experiencing homelessness in the Rio Grande area. This additional population assessment will allow service providers and Salt Lake City to use actual data in making decisions on overflow needs, and determine what immediate next steps should be taken.
New Emergency Shelter Space (Divided Sub-Groups)
If the population assessment indicates additional emergency space beyond St. Vincent De Paul is required the City will begin to work with the County and municipal leaders to find appropriate space in cities across the Wasatch Front. It is the desire of the administration that any additional new space be activated under the general guidelines of the new treatment model. This model would identify new emergency shelter space based on population (women, families, single men, etc.) and refer each through a third-party coordinated intake and assessment process supported by the County.