SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A high-capacity homeless shelter in Salt Lake County has been around for almost one hundred years and Wednesday night it shut its doors.
The Road Home in downtown Salt Lake City used to be full of those experiencing homelessness.
But Thursday, it was vacant.
On Monday, the Men’s Resource Center opened and was the last of three new shelters to welcome people inside.
At a press conference on Thursday, officials said almost 300 men experiencing homelessness have moved into the center in South Salt Lake.
The other shelters are the Gail Mill Resource Center and the Geraldine E King Women’s Center.
“All three new resource centers they are conducive to healing,” said community advocate Pamela Atkinson. “And that’s what happened this week. Men were saying, I think I can get better here. I think I can heal, I think I can find the help.”
While the shelters are near capacity with individuals already, officials said they have vouchers for motels and are working with landlords to help people find a warm place.
Now, to ensure no one has to spend winter nights on the streets, St. Vincent De Paul Dining Hall and the Weigand Homeless Resource Center will serve as overflows.
However, these overflow centers are only for homeless people to warm up – not a place to sleep.
Nancy Buckley has been living on the streets for nearly two years. She said she used to spend a lot of time at The Road Home, and now she’s having a hard time getting into one of the new women’s shelters.
“We’ve been taken to the other shelters to be told they’re filled and there’s no overflow for women. So, where do we go in the middle of the night?” Buckley said.
Every day begins with not knowing where she’ll sleep, and she said it’s hard to say goodbye to employees at The Road Home.
“They did care about us and we know them. They know us,” Buckley said. “They know we’re not perfect, but they accepted us anyway. They unconditionally cared about us.”
The three new homeless resource centers have the capacity for 460 men and 240 women.
Anyone seeking shelter is being asked to call (801) 990-9999.
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