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Salt Lake County agencies join forces to combat homelessness

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Posted at 6:05 PM, Oct 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-28 12:00:37-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- Thousands of families spend their nights on the streets in Salt Lake County.

“We couldn't pay our rent in May and they evicted us,” said Karon Duckworth who has been homeless since May 22.

For 157 days, Duckworth and her two children have been living on the street and in shelters.

“The only thing they ask for right now is they want to go home -- this is not home. This is a bunk bed to sleep on a mat to sleep on,” Duckworth said.

Agencies across the county work to help the homeless but now dozens of groups are joining forces to make a bigger impact.

“The challenge we have is a complicated one and the solution is going to be complicated,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

McAdams said with the 31 agencies working together and focused on a set of goals, they can make a big dent in homelessness.

“Each of us have different types of programs to help people end homelessness and now we can really come together and look at how what we do impacts our entire county,” said Michelle Flynn, associate executive director for The Road Home.

The groups have spent the last 10 months creating 14 different goals for every penny that is spent on helping the homeless.

These goals range from meeting basic needs, to giving individuals who exit homelessness employment and financial stability.

“It would be powerful probably unimaginable at this point in time,” Duckworth said.

But the group is working to make that a reality.

“We all have the same goal we don't want to have crime on the street we don't want people who are homeless in our community and we want to end that as quickly as possible,” Flynn said.

For more information visit http://slco.org/homeless-services/collective-impact-steering-committee/