MILLCREEK, Utah -- Hundreds of people gathered on Wednesday to celebrate the opening of a first-of-its-kind, low-income housing complex in Millcreek.
The goal is to break the cycle of homelessness by giving struggling families a place to call their own.
Steve and Amanda Chidester, along with their three daughters, became homeless in 2012. For years, they lived shelter to shelter.
“It's really, really hard going to shelter, especially us having our girls; it was really, really hard. It was scary,” Amanda Chidester said.
Now the family has a place to call home at the new Bud Bailey Apartment Community in Millcreek.
“We weren't able to pay our bills,” Steve Chidester said. “I couldn't find a job and that sort of thing, and then when this place opened up I could relax and breathe and find a decent job and settle down and get on track and pay our bills.”
Not only does it provide a place to stay, but other services are available--like counseling and preschool.
“They have a lot of amazing resources,” Amanda Chidester said. “That is just amazing for the kids. Our daughter ended up having C and D's to straight A’s now.”
The apartments have a total of 136 units, which will provide a place to stay for a mixture of people in need, including those who are homeless, refugees, and struggling families. More than 200 children already live there.
Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County Mayor, spoke about the project.
“It’s is so heartwarming to see kids who have no home and no opportunity--they're missing school, they're in the cold--and we have family supportive housing here," he said.
The second phase of this apartment complex was just finished this month, and already nearly every unit is filled.
Victoria Olson is 19 and said she lived on the streets for more than a year before finding a place at the complex.
“So much better,” she said of her new living situation. “I love being able to make food in a kitchen and sleep in my own bed and to take a shower every morning is a great thing.”
She said living at the Bud Bailey Complex will help her turn her life around.
If this program would benefit you or someone you know, visit the complex’s website.