ALL NEWS

Mayor asks Salt Lake City Council to put new homeless shelters on hold

Oct 6, 2021, 9:06 AM
salt lake homeless shelters...
FILE: Homeless persons sit in a closed business on North Temple in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — There is no distinction between temporary and permanent homeless shelters in land use processes in Salt Lake City.  That’s why Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall wants a six month moratorium on applications for new permanent homeless shelters.

She spoke at the Salt Lake City Council’s work session meeting last night.

“This will require us, as a city, to review what conditions we can approve those conditional use shelters in the future,” Mendenhall said. 

Mendenhall did acknowledge the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness requested 300 more emergency shelter beds. She said her six month moratorium would not apply to temporary homeless shelters in Salt Lake City.  However, the temporary sites can only be built where zoning laws already allow for a shelter.

The planning commission must review the moratorium on permanent shelters. Then, the city council can vote on a final plan. 

Homeless shelters in Salt Lake City near capacity

Andrew Johnston, Salt Lake City Director of Homelessness Policy and Outreach, also gave a presentation at last night’s meeting.

His data shows the South Salt Lake men’s shelter is currently at 87% capacity, the Gail Miller Co-ed Homeless Resource Center is at 95% capacity, and the King Women’s Center is at 99.6% capacity.  Winter, he noted, is fast approaching.

Johnston also addressed the frustration many in the community feel about a portion of those on the streets not accepting help when offered.

“When we ask someone, ‘Do you want to go in?’ and they go to a shelter that is 99% full, and we say ‘No, you can’t come in.’ After two or three of those responses, people no longer trust help will be given.”

He also explained the challenges people have to making reasoned decisions. 

“Sleep deprivation from living on the streets shows the same type of impairment as substance abuse,” said Johnston. “Add to that any trauma, physical, sexual or mental abuse, the person is experiencing and their judgment is severely impaired.”  

Johnston said society has a habit of criticizing homeless people for not getting help without understanding the reasons why they don’t.

Read more: 

Today’s Top Stories

All News

After six years leading USU, and an overall 32 year career with the school, President Noelle E. Coc...
Simone Seikaly

USU President Noelle E. Cockett will step down

USU President Noelle E. Cockett has been part of the college's community for 32 years.
2 months ago
A national survey finds Utah the third safest state when it comes to drunk driving fatalities....
Simone Seikaly

Utah one of the leading states for low levels of drunk driving

SALT LAKE CITY — Forbes Advisor has ranked American states to determine which have the highest number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes. Their results put Utah third in the nation for the lowest rate of drunk driving. The District of Columbia and New Jersey each ranked higher than Utah when considering this data. […]
2 months ago
free transit rides...
Elizabeth Weiler

Free public transit rides come to Heber Valley

HEBER CITY, Utah — In the summer of 2022, Wasatch County Council approved a sales tax which is now providing funding for free public transit rides throughout Heber Valley.  Wasatch County and High Valley Transit entered a three-year, $3 million agreement to offer public bus transit services between Wasatch and Summit Counties, along with micro-transit […]
2 months ago
carbon monoxide poisoning...
Ali Litzinger

Carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise in winter months

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter is approaching and officials want people to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Last year, nearly 200 Utahns were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.  The flame in a gas appliance should generally be blue, with some orange. If the flame is mostly yellow, it’s giving off excess carbon monoxide.  […]
2 months ago
nichole olsen was shot and killed outside a nightclub in dowtown salt lake city over the weekend....
Elizabeth Weiler

Man arrested for murder in weekend shooting outside nightclub in Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY — A Southern Utah man has been arrested and booked into jail in connection with the shooting death of a Salt Lake City woman over the weekend. Nichole Olsen, 29, was shot and killed outside a nightclub near 300 S. West Temple in Salt Lake City around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police have […]
2 months ago
A “for sale” sign is displayed outside of a house in Layton. 
Photo: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret Ne...
Adam Small

Salt Lake seeing highest drop in home sales, national report finds

Utah's home sales are dropping fast according to a new national report. Prices have dropped by 48% in the last 12 months.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Mayor asks Salt Lake City Council to put new homeless shelters on hold