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Women no longer allowed at downtown homeless shelter as part of transition to new facilities

Posted at 6:40 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 20:40:48-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Starting Wednesday, the homeless shelter in downtown Salt Lake City, known as The Road Home, will no longer be hosting women.

Homelessness is a constant battle for many in the Salt Lake Area.

“I’ve been at the shelter off and on since about 2015,” said Charity Block, as she stood in front of The Road Home. “I don’t think you ever get used to it,” she laughed.

Charity has called the shelter off of 400 West and 200 South home for years.

“It’s an old building, it’s been here for quite some time,” Charity said.

When she walked up and found two white flyers taped to each of the double-doors, she wasn’t surprised.

“They’d been talking about building new shelters to help with the overcrowding of homeless and stuff, so I was kind of excited about it,” said Charity.

The signs read, ‘As of Wednesday, Sept. 25th The Road Home will no longer be hosting women.’

The facility used to hold 65 to 80 women each night — now those women are being turned to two brand new facilities in Salt Lake City.

The flyer continued, listing the new spots.

The Gail Miller Resource Center, located at 242 West Paramount Avenue — is a men and women’s shelter operated by Catholic Community Services.

And the Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center, located at 131 East 700 South — is a female only operation through Volunteers of America.

“The time’s long overdue, that we have better quality facilities,” said Matt Minkevitch, the Executive Director with The Road Home.

“They’re designed better, they’ll be hosting smaller numbers of people and that creates a better environment,” Minkevitch said.

Minkevitch said the new facilities are part of a broader collaboration between Utah Community Action, Volunteers of America, The Road Home and Catholic Community Services — working alongside city, county and state governments, to provide more homeless services.

“As we refine our processes going forward, we will have the kind of system that is worthy of the people who are turning to us in their time of need,” said Minkevitch.

Charity is just one of dozens of women making the transition to one of the new facilities.

“That’s why I had to come back here, so I could get assessed for the new shelter,” she said as she stood outside of The Road Home.

But she isn’t sad to say goodbye.

“I’m feeling pretty good about it and I’ve heard lots of good things about it from the other women,” Charity said.

A new men’s facility is being built in South Salt Lake. The Road Home said they anticipate the building will be completed by the end of October, they will use the following 30-day period to help the men make this same transition.

Women who have any questions, or still need to transition, can call 1-801-990-9999.