SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The homeless shelter in downtown Salt Lake City is just months away from closing its doors.
It’s all part of a plan to shift to resource centers to help residents get back on their feet, and area landlords are being called on to help move the effort along.
Sharon Gardens in South Salt Lake has been the place Richard Dornik calls home for the past year.
He moved into his apartment from The Road Home homeless shelter with the help of a housing voucher from the county.
“It’s a lot better than the shelter and a lot better than the other places I had,” said Dornik.
Many others are still struggling to transition into permanent housing, and the skyrocketing market isn’t making it any easier for them to take that crucial step.
“We all know this, but the solution to homelessness is housing, deeply affordable housing,” said Janice Kimball, CEO of Housing Connect.
That’s why Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and other local leaders are teaming up to launch the “100 More Housed” initiative.
It will utilize $400,000 allocated by the legislature to help get 100 people into permanent housing.
This comes just months ahead of the downtown shelter closing, and the transition to the three new resource centers.
“We don’t have to wait until the new model is ready to start doing that. We are constantly working, but we are putting a new emphasis now on housing, to make sure we get more people into housing,” said Cox, (R) Utah.
That new emphasis also includes a plea to landlords and property managers.
“We desperately need you to help, we desperately need you to participate. We have vouchers, we have tenants and we have case managers,” said Cox.
The biggest obstacle is that landlords can get more by renting at fair market value.
Kimball says vouchers are competitive and come with other benefits.
“I think the biggest benefit is consistent, on time rent,” she said.