Mayor McAdams still considering nine potential sites for new homeless resource center

Posted at 6:15 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 23:19:34-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Mayor Ben McAdams has a tough decision ahead as he chooses where to put Salt Lake County's new homeless resource center.

He was expected to decide and make the announcement Thursday, but instead he got an earful from committee members just hours before the deadline.

“Community feedback that we've heard is concerns about increased crime, too close to schools, again too close to the liquor store, and the gun store,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

McAdams took another day to hear from the site evaluation committee, recognizing that every one of the proposed nine sites for a new homeless resource center has its pros and cons.

“I was promised there will be court battles over those covenants if this site is selected,” said committee member Steve Eliason.

Each committee member voiced concerns over every proposed site. Every site, having the potential to impact residents and businesses.

“You're asking them to risk their tens of millions for the $10 million structure that is, that lacks a successful model,” said committee member Shiloah Gilmore.

After pressure from residents Wednesday night, Draper City Mayor Troy Walker says he no longer supports the sites he himself proposed.

“…he had faith in his community and their willingness to step forward, and that's not what we heard last night,” McAdams said.

Despite Draper City's heated meeting on Wednesday evening, Mcadams is still considering the two Draper sites, but, says the sites lack transit among other concerns.

“You know, if you had things like mentors and people who might be willing to shuttle someone to a job interview, you could overcome some of those deficits, if there was a community that would embrace it and maybe take someone in need to a job interview or take them to an appointment, a dental appointment or whatever," McAdams said.

While some made complaints, others also made suggestions, like putting the shelters near jails: thus assisting both populations.

“If there's an opportunity within this facility to potentially assist individuals being released,” said a Committee Member.

No matter the decision, Mayor McAdams knows it won’t be one everyone will be happy with.

“What I know right now is the status quo is not acceptable, we must make a decision and we must do something,” McAdams said.

The deadline for the decision is March 30 at midnight, but Mayor McAdams says he'll have his decision announced by Friday morning.

To see the proposed Homeless Resource Center Sites, click here.