Homeless population growing in Washington County

Local News

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Switchpoint Community Resource Center is the only emergency homeless shelter in Washington County. It’s now at capacity and they’re having to turn people away according to Kristen Clark, the operations director.

“As everybody knows, housing in St. George is very hard to come by, rental and single unit dwellings,” says Clark.

She says with hardly any affordable housing opportunities in Washington County, the demand is trickling into the shelter, it’s also leaving more people on the streets, not only in St. George, but throughout the county.

“We see a really large population of single men, that are in need of help, all ages, we’ve got 70 year old’s In shelter and 20 year old’s in shelter, so this is not that is something that is really tailored to one specific demographic,” she says.

And it’s not just Utahns needing housing, Clark says people are coming into the shelter from out-of-state.

“We just don’t have attainable housing for individuals, and I know that a lot of wages have increased, but the cost of housing has also increased,” she says.

Clark says the issue is not only leaving transient people without a place to turn but it’s also affecting Switchpoint’s resources.

“We’ve been talking to county commissioners, unfortunately we haven’t gotten that far in that avenue, thankfully for us, St. George city has really stepped up,” she says.

Clark says it’s vital county commissioners, city councils and mayor get on board, for grant assistance and to help solve the issues quickly growing in the area.

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