DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Draper City is opening its doors to the homeless problem in Salt Lake County.
That announcement was made Tuesday afternoon and may help solve a fourth site for proposed resource centers for the homeless.
Salt Lake City is closing its doors to the homeless shelters and an effort has been underway to find locations to help the homeless. Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County have three sites they are recommending to a legislative committee but a fourth site has been tricky.
Residents and city leaders in West Valley City and South Salt Lake are resisting efforts once it they found themselves on the list. But now Draper’s mayor is volunteering its community as possible resource sites.
“We’re the kind of folks that roll up sleeves and go to work to help people,” said Mayor Troy Walker.
Mayor Walker along with Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams made the joint announcement. Draper City is offering two sites as possible locations for a homeless resource center. One of the areas is a vacant parcel of land at approximately 15800 South Minuteman Drive near Interstate-15. The second location is the state prison once it becomes vacant.
One problem with both sites is the lack of public transportation. Mayor McAdams said there is a plan to address that.
“As of today, both sites lack transit access but it is very near future Trax stops,” said Mayor McAdams. “In the meantime we will use a shuttle until the Traxx line is extended.
Mayor Walker said Draper City has a reputation of being a service community. He said the state prison is an example where many in the community work there and church members volunteer to befriend prison inmates.
“As this process has gone forward I thought to myself I really would like to see if we could help,” Mayor Walker said. “If we could step up to the plate.”
Mayor Walker said Draper wants is an opportunity to help the homeless get back into society.
They’ve met with the police department to make sure the estimated 300 homeless people to be sheltered won’t turn into a haven for drug peddlers.
“All of us look at this with trepidation and no one wants a Rio Grande,” said the mayor. “I don’t want a Rio
Grande that’s not what we’re looking for and that’s not the plan.”
He said the goal is to keep communities safe and care for those in crisis.
“The resource center will be a place of safety and hope,” Walker said.
Draper City will host an open house on the two proposed sites Wednesday at Draper Park Middle School. The open house begins at 5:30 p.m. and runs through 7:30 p.m.
If residents are not able to attend, written comments are being accepted on Draper City’s website:
To view the other proposed sites visit: www.homelessfacilitysite.org.