New proposal on homeless services in SLC calls for $30 million bond

Posted at 6:55 PM, Oct 01, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Salt Lake City organization says it’s got a plan to help end homelessness in the area, but they want the city to step in with $30 million to fund part of the plan.

"Now's the time to make some aggressive moves to change the situation for the better," said Glenn Bailey, Executive Director for the Crossroads Urban Center in Salt Lake City.

On Wednesday, the center unveiled a plan to help the homeless population.

Bailey said in order for the plan to work, Salt Lake City leaders need to pony up resources.

There’s two main lists in the plan, called “Our City Leads”--one short term, the other long term.

When it comes to immediate action, there’s a slew of items.

For starters, Crossroads wants the city to close off a portion of Rio Grande Street to through traffic.

Bailey said they also want, "some more money immediately put into rental assistance."

They’d have the number of beds at the detox center doubled, and create new dedicated beds for homeless people with mental health issues as well as substance treatment beds at the University Neuropsychological Institute.

Other items address Medicaid expansion, police enforcement, and social work outreach.

As far as the long term, "We're calling for a 30 million dollar bond," Bailey said.

That bond would have to be approved by Salt Lake City taxpayers. They did the math, and Bailey said it’d break down to $1.25 or $1.50 a month, on average, per taxpayer. It would last 20 years.

The money would go toward three main projects: 800 units of Permanent Supportive Housing, a new homeless family facility, and shelter/day center renovations.

"There's certainly lots of good ideas in the plan," said Jill Remington Love, Salt Lake City Executive Director of Community and Economic Development.

She said they welcome the input, and they’ll take a look at the plan.

But the city has also been busy with projects of their own.

"For a year they've been working on criteria for sites," Remington Love said, talking about a commission that’s been assessing homeless facilities and services in the area.

The commission has been looking at if the services are adequate, and if the facilities are in the right locations.

The commission will make recommendations to the city council within the next two months, she said, "on where this commission believes the site should be located and how they should be configured."

A second project in the works deals with fundraising. It’s called “Collective Impact.” Remington Love said it’d pool all money raised from local service providers like Crossroads Urban Center, and divvy it out based on measurements of where the funds are needed most.