Salt Lake City

Temporary microshelter community opens in Salt Lake City

Dec. 18, 2023

Utah’s first temporary microshelter community, located at 300 South and 600 West in Salt Lake City, began operations on Friday to support up to 50 individuals experiencing homelessness in a non-congregant setting as they connect with resources to transition to permanent supportive housing. 

Switchpoint, the nonprofit organization selected by the State Office of Homeless Services earlier this month, will provide services through April 30, 2024.

In collaboration with Salt Lake City, Switchpoint, and the State Office of Homeless Services, this temporary microshelter community will pilot a new component to the state’s homeless services network. This temporary microshelter community will inform the state’s implementation of a more permanent site, which is anticipated to operate in 2024 under state management. 

“The microshelter community, designed for non-congregate living, offers immediate relief to unsheltered individuals currently residing on the streets of Salt Lake City,” said Wayne Niederhauser, State Homeless Coordinator. “Our goal is stabilization, ensuring not only a secure and safe environment but also providing individuals with a sense of security for themselves and their personal belongings.”

Switchpoint will provide 24-hour support to 50 individuals who are being selected through emergency shelter coordination by local homeless service partners. Individuals will live on-site in secure shelter units that are fully equipped with heating, lighting, air conditioning, electrical outlets, and beds.

“With 19 projects across three counties, Switchpoint’s expertise covers a broad range, including street outreach, emergency shelter, permanent housing, and homeless prevention. This substantial experience uniquely positions us to manage the microshelter community with a compassionate and holistic approach. At Switchpoint, we eagerly anticipate using our diverse skills and unwavering commitment to create a safe, supportive, and compassionate environment for our fellow Utahns in need,” said Carol Hollowell, Executive Director.

The Salt Lake City RDA is executing a land lease with Switchpoint, and the Salt Lake City Police Department and Fire Department concluded site inspections last week and will continue to provide dedicated support to ensure the individuals on-site and in the surrounding neighborhood are safe and secure. Salt Lake City Building Services completed a certificate of occupancy to ensure the site complies with all safety standards to best support the tenants.

“Partnership, compassion, and deliberate organization of the temporary microshelter community are establishing an important model of shelter services that can support individuals in communities across the state,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said. “I am grateful for Switchpoint and the State Office of Homeless Services for their commitment and dedication to collaborating on this program.”

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