OGDEN, Utah — Utah's new Coordinator of Homeless Services went on a tour Friday to get a look at what needs to be addressed to help the state's homeless.
Wayne Niederhauser started his day at the Lantern House in Ogden, one of the largest resources for the homeless in northern Utah.
A former state senator and a certified public accountant, Niederhauser is now in charge of trying to tackle homelessness problem.
“I need to understand, I need to listen and I need to learn,” said Niederhauser.
Niederhauser visited multiple sites in Weber and Morgan counties, getting an up-close and personal perspective on folks who don’t have a place to call home.
“So that’s going to be one of the focuses of the homeless coordinating office, my position, to look at ways we can get people into stable housing and so we can address issues they face in their life and help them lift themselves out of poverty,” Niederhauser said.
While visiting the Lantern House, Niederhauser said he had a good first impression.
“It seems like there is some success here because unlike Salt Lake City, I don’t see as many encampments, I don’t see as many people loitering on the streets, there seems to be something happening here that I am very curious about.”
After Friday’s tour, Niederhauser will spend the next several weeks and months touring other parts of the state. He says he and his staff will then create a strategic, flexible plan for homelessness in Utah.