SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The wealthiest person in the state of Utah is doing a lot for those who have the least: the homeless.
A new homeless resource center is being named for Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller and her family’s foundation has pledged to match donations up to $10 million.
At a meeting of the Pioneer Park Coalition Tuesday, Miller said her namesake center and the two other new homeless resource centers will be much different than The Salt Lake Community Shelter (located at 210 South Rio Grande) which often has hundreds of people loitering outside.
“When others think of the new resource centers all they can see is what was downtown and hopefully they won’t be, they’re not intended to be anything like that,” Miller said during a question and answer session. “They’re intended to be a place where people can go and get the help they need to go through the steps to get out of homelessness into homes.”
On its website, the organization operating the centers Shelter The Homeless claims is about half-way to the maximum Miller Foundation match with nearly $4.7 million in donations.
Even with her immense wealth, Miller says that her family has been personally affected by the problem.
“I have a nephew who’s homeless,” Miller said. “His homelessness came from an unstable marriage relationship where every time he did anything his wife would call the police on him and he spent most of the time in jail and when he got out he had no place to go.”
Meanwhile, work continues on the Gail Miller Resource Center which is scheduled to open in July.
There are two other resource centers under construction: the women’s facility on 700 South will be named the Geraldine E. King Resource Center while the men’s facility in South Salt Lake has yet to be named.