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Utah’s 2nd new homeless center opens doors to public, will take clients next week

Open house gives a look at resource center named for Utah business giant Gail Miller

Charly Swett, left, Kallie McKown, center, and Amanda Christensen take a look around one of the male dorm rooms during an open house at the new Gail Miller Resource Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.
Charly Swett, left, Kallie McKown, center, and Amanda Christensen take a look around one of the male dorm rooms during an open house at the new Gail Miller Resource Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.
Colter Peterson

SALT LAKE CITY — The second homeless resource center meant to overhaul Salt Lake County’s homeless system opened its doors to the public for the first time on Friday — and is expected to begin moving in clients next week.

The Gail Miller Resource Center, at 242 W. Paramount Ave., held a public open house Friday. The 200-bed mixed gender facility — containing 40 beds for women and 160 beds for men — will begin moving in female clients next week.

Male clients will begin being transitioned from the Road Home’s downtown facility after the women are done moving in, said Christina Davis, a spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, which has been facilitating the transition into the new homeless resource centers.

The opening of resource center, named after Utah business giant Gail Miller, comes after the first center, the Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center, began taking in women last month.

One final homeless resource center, located in South Salt Lake at 3380 S. 1000 West, is still under construction after several delays within the city permitting process. The facilities’ owner, Shelter the Homeless, has been poised to transfer the facility to the state amid contention with city leaders over the operation of the South Salt Lake location, but negotiations are still ongoing, Davis said.

State leaders originally mandated the resource centers open and the Road Home’s downtown shelter shutter by the end of July, but the centers saw several delays due to a long winter followed by a wet spring. Frustrations were also raised about how long it took to solidify lease agreements for the three facilities.

As of Friday, even though negotiations with South Salt Lake are still ongoing, Davis said the 300-bed men’s center is slated to be completed in October, and men will begin moving in starting in November. The move, if it remains on that schedule, will come just ahead of winter.

State and homeless leaders have said the Road Home’s downtown shelter will not be shuttered until every person experiencing homelessness is sheltered. Davis said the aim is to close the downtown shelter by November, and if there is any overflow from the new homeless resource centers, officials will use motel vouchers, diversion to other services or winter overflow at the St. Vincent De Paul dining hall, depending on need.