Mayor Erin Mendenhall appoints new Director of Homelessness Policy and Outreach

Local Politics

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City Council Member Andrew Johnston, the District Two Representative, has accepted a position as the Director of Homelessness Policy and Outreach with Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s administration.

Officials say his specific appointment date will be made known in the coming days, as will the application process to fill the vacancy he will be leaving on the City Council.

“Homelessness is one of the most pressing and complicated issues facing our city and cities across the nation today. The pathways into and out of homelessness are as varied as the individuals who experience it themselves, and how Salt Lake City approaches the issue must be innovative, collaborative, and relentless,” Mendenhall says. “We are lucky to have an individual who possesses those very qualities in Andrew Johnston, who I am proud to announce as our new Director of Homelessness Policy and Outreach.” 

In his new position in the mayor’s office, Johnston will reportedly help guide the city’s approach to homelessness and coordinate with service partners, the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, and other government entities to provide resources and policy solutions to address the needs of the city’s homeless population.

Officials say Council Member Johnston has been serving residents of the Glendale, Poplar Grove, and Fairpark neighborhoods on the Salt Lake City Council since 2016. Before he was elected to the City Council, he served six years on the Poplar Grove Community Council, including two terms as Chair. 

In 2019, he was re-elected to a second term by District Two residents. Johnston served as Vice-Chair of the Council during 2020. He served on the Utah League of Cities and Towns Legislative Policy Committee, and the Salt Lake County Council of Governments.

Johnston is part of the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness and serves on working subcommittees within the Coalition.

In 2018, he was appointed by then-Governor Gary R. Herbert to serve on the Utah State Commission on Housing Affordability.

Johnston is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has spent 20 years working with issues of homelessness, mental health, and addiction in both Utah and Maine.

“These past five years on council have been some of the most challenging and rewarding of my life. I will always look back with fondness on those with whom I served in Salt Lake City,” says Johnston. “I am excited to be working as part of the Mendenhall Administration on solving issues of homelessness among our residents.” 

“We all will miss Andrew’s ceaseless dedication to his constituents in District 2, and to the city issues he cares so deeply about,” says Amy Fowler, council chair. “His kindness and passion will continue to serve the people of Salt Lake as part of the mayor’s team.”

The City Recorder’s Office says they will announce the application dates and process to fill the vacancy Johnston is leaving.

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