SALT LAKE CITY — Ever since city and county leaders began the controversial process of siting three new homeless resource centers to replace the Road Home’s troubled downtown shelter, fear that the new facilities would bring crime and drugs to three new neighborhoods fueled NIMBY-ism.
Throughout that process, politicians and homelessness advocates repeatedly promised — and continue to promise today — that these homeless resource centers will be different.
And as the first one nears its opening in the coming days, there are vast differences taking shape inside, and it’s not just because it’s a brand new building with clean floors and shiny surfaces.
As finishing touches were taking place last week inside the Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center, officials from site operator Volunteers of America gave the Deseret News a tour of the 200-bed facility at 131 E. 700 South, showcasing what’s to be expected when clients move in over the next few weeks.
From the beginning of the siting process, politicians and homeless advocates have insisted the new facilities be called resource centers — not shelters — to drill home the point that the buildings will be service-focused, featuring three meals a day, basic health care, job assistance and housing help.
During Friday’s tour, services and resources took center stage from the first step inside the center’s lobby.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Volunteers of America employees wait for clients to arrive for tours at the Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 26, 2019.
Step 1 will be ‘diversion’ where possible
The very first thing clients will do is consult with a “diversion specialist,” said Patrice Dickson, chief operating officer of Utah Community Action, the organization that has been hired to conduct the intake process of the new resource centers.
That office — sitting next to a …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Top stories