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Weather pushes back opening of new homeless shelters

(Geraldine E. King Women's Resource Center. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – They’re running behind scheduled, and you can blame it on the rain.  Organizers behind the massive effort to build three new homeless resource centers in Salt Lake County say the wet weather has forced them to delay the opening by about four weeks.

The original plan was to have the new Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center open and taking in new clients by July 1.  However, one of the wettest springs in recent years pushed those plans back about a month.

Shelter The Homeless Executive Director Preston Cochrane says, “In both this site and the Gail Miller Resource Center, both areas were completely saturated.”

(Photo: Paul Nelson)

At the King Center on 700 South, crews are still laying the concrete, placing pipes and doing landscaping.  The actually construction is expected to be done by the end of the month, but, Cochrane says the staff won’t be able to properly work, right away, in a building they’re unfamiliar with.

“It pushes back the opportunity for our operator to come into the building and have occupancy so that they can train their staff and have everything ready to go so they can start accepting clients,” he says, adding, “We want to make sure that the staff is fully trained, skilled and ready to go.”

The weather wasn’t the only thing that slowed construction.  Cochrane says they made additions to some of the facilities after the original designs were made.  For instance, he says they had to add more elevators to accommodate people with special needs.  Plus, they had to make a big addition to house a 42-foot mobile medical center.

“We want to make sure that’s going to be stored in a safe place, so we added a garage at the Gail Miller Resource Center, specifically for that.”

The King center is hoping to house women by the end of July or early August.