Vacant Ogden fire station to become homeless resource center

Posted at 7:11 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 21:11:08-04

OGDEN, Utah -- A new homeless resource center for families is coming to Ogden, and it's going to be in one of the city's old fire stations.

The city is allowing the non-profit group Family Promise to operate it rent free. For Dave Broderick, founder of Family Promise, it's a dream come true.

"This is going to be a big, big, help for the community, get these families and children off the streets," Broderick said.

Broderick has been wanting to open up a homeless resource center dedicated to families for years, he just needed one thing: a building.

"We've had five families that have come and called and tried to ask if there is something that can be done for them, and it's horrible to say we are not quite ready yet," he said.

So when the firefighters moved to a new station last summer, the city decided to give Family Promise the old station rent free.

"It wasn't about money, it was about the community good it would do," said Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson.

Family Promise estimates there are hundreds of homeless families with children living in Ogden. They plan to help about three to five of them at a time.

"They will be assigned immediately to a case worker, and they will get help in whatever it is they need to get back on their feet, if they need school, if they need to get a job," Broderick said.

He said this is not a shelter, where they will be provided meals and beds. Instead, these families will be set up with religious congregations throughout the community for help meeting those needs.

"This is simply a clinic where they get help to move forward, they leave every day at approximately five o'clock," Broderick said.

The center is scheduled to open in May. The city says this partnership is not set in stone, and they will reevaluate the situation after one year. However, they are optimistic it will be a big help for a growing problem.

"The more people that can find jobs and find housing the better it is for our city and for other cities," Johnson said.