State officials say there are beds available for homeless


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake County and the State both say there are enough beds to house the homeless. The challenge they are facing is getting the resources to the homeless who need it.

With temperatures hovering around the low 30s at night this week, there is a renewed effort to keep our homeless warm in Salt Lake County.

“It’s really cold, there’s icicles coming off our tents. We’re not supposed to have tents, but that’s the only thing [that keeps] heat,” said Sara Entwhistle who is homeless.

Entwhistle was caught up in a Salt Lake County Health Department clean-up at 300 East and 500 South. She and many others were given 24-hours notice to pack up and leave.

“It makes me feel horrible- like we don’t have no place to go, we don’t have no homes we don’t have no place to go. the shelters are over-packed,” she said.

Utah Department of Workforce Services said from November 22 through December 5, an average of 645 of the 700 beds were used in all the homeless resource centers. The highest number of beds used in a night was 689 and the lowest number of beds used was 621.

Katherine Fife the Salt Lake County Director of Programs and Partnerships said, “We sure do our best as a community to connect individuals with services including the resource centers.”

St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall and the Weigand Homeless Resource Center also have a 58-mat overflow and warming center with 100 chairs.

“That is the best way to get access to one of the resource centers,” said Fife.

Each night around 8:30 p.m., state officials say they check capacity at each of the shelters.

Fife added, “There is a group of stakeholders who are looking at the information and data every day to make sure we are able to meet the needs of those in our community, and so far the data tells us that is the case.”

The state says they are trying everything they can to make sure our homeless are off the streets before the weather dips at the end of the week.

Salt Lake County Health Officials said they won’t clear out homeless camps if the shelters are full.

If you or someone you know is in need of help and is homeless please call 801.990.9999.


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