Outrage Continues Over Possible Homeless Resource Centers

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - On Saturday night, hundreds of people gathered inside the State Room at the Capitol to voice their concerns to Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams about  three of five proposed Homeless Resource Center Sites in West Valley City.

"Have you been to those sites yourself?" a West Valley City Resident asked McAdams.

"Yes, three times," answered McAdams.

"When?" 

"I've been three times."

"Did you go with some of the community members?"

"Not yet."

"I think you need to."

Salt Lake County has until Thursday, March 30th to decide where to put the new shelter. The process has been going on for months, with two shelters already selected in Salt Lake City.

"A city like West Valley that doesn't have anywhere near the economic base of Salt Lake City is now being tasked to start providing funding support for a homeless shelter," stated Ron Bigelow, Mayor of West Valley City. "Put it where you have a strong economic base to support it."

The three proposed locations in West Valley City are 1820 West Printers Row, 2249 South 1070 West and 2411 South 1070 West.

According to city officials, the sites would negatively impact six schools (K-12), seven churches, and three day care centers, 3,000 housing units, 731 businesses, three parks, the Jordan River Parkway and a work center for 250 special needs adults.

"The homeless center sites, A B1 and B2, are all within a block of my daughter's day care facility," said Rachel Baker, who has lived in West Valley City with her husband and children for almost 10 years.

"If they're not willing to do what needs to be done to protect the surrounding area then they shouldn't be putting these things here. They need to be taking into consideration the actual needs of the homeless community from mental health to rehabilitation and appropriately dealing with this."

"I'm here listening and we do care," McAdams told Good4Utah's Brittany Johnson.

McAdams said the new facility will be completely different from what currently exists at Rio Grande.

"That facility is over 1,100 beds right now. We're looking to replace it with a much smaller facility and spread them out a little bit so we can stop the loitering outside the facilities, some of the crime outside the facilities. {With} a smaller facility, we're going to be able to control what happens around that to help keep it safe." 

The next two open house meetings, according to county officials are as follows:

Tuesday, March 21, 6-8 p.m.

Utah Cultural Celebration Center

1355 West 3100 South

Wednesday, March 22, 6-8 p.m.

Utah State Capitol Campus, Senate Building, Room 210


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