Site Selection Process
The Salt Lake City Mayor and City Council selected the sites based on recommendations by the Salt Lake City Homeless Services Site Evaluation Commission (HSSEC).
Sites were evaluated based on federal guidelines, City zoning and ordinance, as well as by success criteria determined by the HSSEC and prioritized by the public.
As part of the site selection process, 16 Success Criteria were established to guide location, design and service needs in new homeless resource centers.
In June 2016, Salt Lake City held a series of public workshops and an online survey, which asked residents to help rank, by importance, the Success Criteria.
Location-Based Success Criteria:
- Area is not conducive for regional drug trade – safety is key: The Salt Lake City Police Department has determined that proximity to interstate on-and-off ramps is an indicator of local drug activity, along with ease of access to the resource center. Potential resource center sites will be evaluated based on their proximity to freeway ramps in Salt Lake City and ease of access to specific centers.
- Near public transportation to enable access to needed services: Transportation is a major hurdle to treatment for many individuals experiencing homelessness. Potential sites will be evaluated based on their proximity to public transportation, which is defined as half a mile from TRAX stops and frequent bus lines.
- Includes easy access to shelter, day services, medical, behavioral health, detox, community partners, space for pets, storage, and hot box (decontaminate clothing and personal belongings): While resource centers will have critical services inside the facility, potential sites will be evaluated based on their accessibility to existing, and future known services, both in terms of physical proximity and ease of transit.
- Part of a larger neighborhood: Resource centers will be a temporary home for individuals experiencing homelessness and should be built in areas conducive to multi-family residential living. Potential sites will be evaluated based on residential livability factors, including proximity to grocery stores, and day-to-day amenities.
Initial Property Search and Evaluation
Based on a geographic analysis, members of the Salt Lake City Planning and Real Estate Services Divisions identified areas of the City suitable for building a resource center. This initial analysis was based on federal and environmental guidelines, including restrictions relating to fault lines, flood planes, industrial hazards, areas of height and noise restriction.
From within identified areas, Salt Lake City identified all potential sites from available real estate in the areas.
Each potential site was then run through a standard review process by nearly every City department, including Planning, Public Utilities, Building Services, Transportation, and Engineering. This review identified additional environmental, zoning, and ordinance concerns.
Potential sites were scored based on this information, as well as the Success Criteria. Property scorecards were presented to the Mayor, City Council, and Homeless Services Site Evaluation Commission for further review.
Homeless Services Site Evaluation Commission Outcome Report
The HSSEC was presented with property scorecards and additional information for review and discussion.
Working in small groups, the HSSEC developed an outcome report to forward to the Salt Lake City Mayor and City Council for their consideration.
Salt Lake City Council and Mayor Consideration
The Mayor and City Council met in small groups to work towards a consensus of the final four sites. They were provided with the technical property report information, public engagement report and the HSSEC Outcome Report.
On February 24, 2017, at a press conference held at the City and County Building, Mayor Biskupski and Council Chair James Rogers announced the locations of the two sites.
The Salt Lake City Council called a special public meeting to formalize a joint resolution between the Salt Lake City Council and Mayor, recommending two sites for new homeless resource centers. The formal adoption of the resolution was tabled for a future meeting date.
Actions Following the Decision
The City has hosted a series of public workshops, online engagement, and other meetings focused on the design of facilities and feedback on how to mitigate community concerns.
Public Workshop Schedule
Several Public Workshops were held to engage the public and discuss concerns.
These workshops focused on three primary design-oriented themes:
- Safety for both users and surrounding neighbors.
- Designed to mitigate potential negative effects.
- Integrated into larger neighborhoods.
City Council and Planning Commission meetings will also be held to address land use issues.