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: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

A woman stays hydrated by drinking water, electrolytes also help to rehydrate...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Water may not be enough to rehydrate your body in the heat, expert says

A sports dietician for Intermountain Health shared the importance of electrolytes when trying to rehydrate

8 hours ago

Biden set to come back to the campaign trail next week. Howell reacts. ( April 27, 2024. Marielle S...

Diana Jones

Is Biden ready to return to the campaign trail? Expert says its up to Biden

President Biden's campaign says he's returning to the campaign trail next week amidst rumors of stepping down.

9 hours ago

Stacks of fireworks are seen in a TNT tent on Redwood Road, officials issue warnings about fire dan...

Tammy Kikuchi

Highest level of fire concern: Officials urge people to be cautious ahead of Pioneer Day

As fire danger is at its highest level, officials asked the public to be mindful and follow fire restrictions for the Pioneer Day holiday.

10 hours ago

former Utah State Aggies head coach Blake Anderson...

CHANDLER HOLT, KSL Sports

Blake Anderson’s representation releases part off response to Utah State University

SALT LAKE CITY – Former Utah State football head coach Blake Anderson’s legal team released parts of his 70-page response to Utah State University. Anderson’s representation, Mars Law Firm, posted excerpts from the response to social media. Excerpts from Coach Blake Anderson’s 70-page response to USU’s termination letter. ⬇️ Full response to follow with attached exhibits, […]

11 hours ago

When leaves start to scorch, the edges of the leaves will turn brown. This generally happens on the...

Michelle Lee

Got leaf scorch on your trees? Here’s what you can do

Leaf scorch is a common problem among trees during the summer due to the excessive heat and low humidity. Here are some ways you can help them survive.

12 hours ago

ksl movie show host steve salles next to widow clicquot movie poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Widow Clicquot’ explores one of the earliest successful international businesswomen

KSL Movie Show host Steve Salles says the 'Widow Clicquot' explores one of the earliest successful international businesswomen.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

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