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Millcreek will house Salt Lake area overflow shelter for homeless this winter

SHARE Millcreek will house Salt Lake area overflow shelter for homeless this winter

The temporary Sugar House homeless shelter at 2234 S. Highland Drive in Salt Lake City is pictured on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County homelessness leaders announced Friday that Millcreek will house one of two needed winter overflow shelters as temperatures drop.

The new shelter will be located in the former Osmond Senior Living Memory Care facility at 950 E. 3300 South in Millcreek. The center has 60 beds and room for up to 75 beds in “emergency conditions,” the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness said in a news release.

The coalition has spent months trying to come up with a solution to bring the homeless camping on the streets out of the cold, after Salt Lake City leaders promised the Sugar House Temporary Shelter established last year would close its doors.

“With the ongoing pandemic, we prioritized overflow options in non-congregate settings that limit potential spread of the virus, and we are deeply grateful for Millcreek city’s willingness to be a part of the solution,” Jean Hill, co-chairwoman of the coalition, said in a statement.

In mid-November, homelessness officials hoped to finalize plans to use the La Quinta Inn east of the Midvale Family Shelter on 7200 South until Midvale Mayor Robert Hale opposed the plan during a public meeting.

Hale said the small city and its police force couldn’t sustain more impacts from the homeless community. The area around the La Quinta, Hale said in November, is already a “crime spot.”

“We are heading into a Utah winter in the middle of the pandemic, and it’s going to be a hard time for a lot of people. I’m pleased that our city can be a safe place, at least through this winter, for Utahns experiencing homelessness to call home as they transition to more stable living arrangements,” Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini said in a statement.

Switchpoint, which runs the St. George homeless shelter, will operate the Millcreek overflow shelter. It opens on Dec. 10 and is expected to close mid-April. Full-time private security will remain on site, officials said, and those staying at the facility will receive three meals a day there.

“We look forward to working closely with the Millcreek community in meeting this wintertime housing need,” said Carol Hollowell, Switchpoint executive director.

The homelessness coalition is still looking for another facility to add up to 140 more beds to the winter overflow plan to add to the up to 50 that already exist at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall, up to 80 hotel vouchers for women, and 130 rooms in the high-risk homeless hotel.