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Salt Lake leaders celebrate new homeless resource center at groundbreaking

SALT LAKE CITY — Construction has started on the first of three new homeless resource centers in the Salt Lake Valley.

Officials gathered Monday morning to break ground at 131 E. 700 South for the Geraldine E. King Homeless Resource Center. The facility for women only is scheduled to be finished by next July.

It will be a 60,000-square-foot building, with 200 beds.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says it will be a safe space, but so much more than that.

“We will help women and many others find their singular path to stability, to self-sufficiency and self-reliance,” said the mayor.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox says the state wants the new building to eventually be empty.

“Because we have invested in keeping people from homelessness in the first place, but knowing that when they are here, that it is brief, and we get them out and get them the tools they need to get back on their feet,” Cox said.

“Through this new shelter model and through the program-rich environment that will support that model, they will find a way up, and a way out of their challenges and their homelessness,” McAdams said.

Cox said the building will be beautiful, but “what matters are the people who will come through that front door. The women who are coming from addiction, from domestic violence, who have lost all hope, and this is their last chance,” he said.

The center represents what advocates say will be a move to a better model, one where the homeless are connected with services on-site, and they move toward housing and employment.

Two other centers are planned for construction soon, all in the hopes of closing the Road Home shelter by July 2019.

Hear more of the lieutenant governor’s remarks at the groundbreaking below.

Hear from Pat King, whose mother the building will be named for below.