Michelle Flynn, executive director of The Road Home, said in a news release Friday that the organization was “honored” by the invitation to run a third resource center in the Salt Lake Valley.
“Our goal has always been to ensure people move out of homelessness and into housing, by providing excellence in service delivery, leveraging our team’s experience, making data-driven decisions, and developing innovative housing programs,” she said. “With this in mind, we feel well-positioned to now provide exceptional service at the Gail Miller Resource Center.”
Volunteers of America Utah runs the 200-bed women’s center in Salt Lake City.
“We appreciate their commitment to serve the women, men and children in our community who are experiencing homelessness, not only at this resource center, but across Salt Lake County,” she said. “The months ahead are some of the most challenging for our homeless population and knowing we have professional and qualified teams in place to help meet our clients’ needs is essential.”
Funding has also been secured to keep operational the hotel Salt Lake County opened earlier this year to protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19. That hotel, which the county has declined to identify, has space for 130 people over the age of 60 or with underlying health conditions.
But because of the coronavirus, homeless service providers are anticipating a need for more overflow options than ever to accommodate social distancing. The coalition is currently on the hunt for money to convert existing facilities for shelter and is also looking at the possibility of acquiring a facility to use as a long-term, permanent or as-needed solution during the winter.
Other options that homeless services leaders considered, but are not moving forward with, include creating a sanctioned encampment, lifting the statutory occupancy limits at the homeless resource centers and establishing a safe parking program for car camping.