On May 12, 2021, Salt Lake City’s Homeless Resource Centers marked an important milestone in their first 18 months of operation, achieving a $10 million public matching grant from the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation.
The challenge grant was part of the Home4Change campaign, launched in 2017, that matched contributions dollar-for-dollar to Shelter the Homeless, the nonprofit organization, which owns the three new Homeless Resource Centers.
“Home4Change is an amazing example of many groups and individuals coming together to make a difference,” said Wayne Niederhauser, the new state homeless services coordinator. “It is this type of collaboration and support that will keep us moving forward. We need everyone’s help whether donating funds, goods or volunteering to end homelessness here in Salt Lake City and throughout the state.”
Home4Change resulted in 1,688 donations from the community, ranging in size from $5 to more than $1 million, and reached $10,107,264. The Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation matched the contributions for total funding of more than $20 million. The funds have been used to support operations and provide services at the Homeless Resource Centers. The donations came from a range of community supporters including Intermountain Healthcare, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7-11 Corporation, C. Scott and Dorothy E. Watkins Charitable Foundation, Warren P. King, Bank of America, Fredrick H. Barth Foundation, UPS Foundation, Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City.
“We are so grateful for everyone who joined with our family in supporting this new approach to combating homelessness in our community,” said Gail Miller. “Seeing the Homeless Resource Centers evolve from concept to successful operation that helps change lives and serve the email@example.com has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career.”
Miller co-chaired the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness, a group of state, local and community leaders who identified best practices nationally and then worked to adapt, apply and innovate these for Utah. The result was the Homeless Resource Center model, which focuses on shifting from a centralized, downtown emergency shelter to a coordinated entry, scattered-site, wrap-around services strategy with the goal of helping individuals achieve self-reliance and housing stabilization.
Each facility — the Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center, Gail Miller Resource Center and the Men’s Resource Center — provides not only a safe, warm place to sleep, but a wide range of supportive services including housing assistance, employment training, life skills, food, medical care, storage, counseling, and connections to long-term community support.
“With the support of the Miller family and the broader community, the Homeless Resource Centers are an effective toolfor individuals experiencing homelessness to quickly have their basic needs met and connect with much needed services,” said Laurie Hopkins, executive director of Shelter the Homeless. “Continued community support for the resource centers and deeply affordable housing are key components in making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.”
Since all three new Homeless Resource Centers began operating, more than 5,000 individuals have been served, with more than 37 percent of clients transitioning into permanent housing, temporary housing, or connecting with other systems such as addiction and mental health services.
“While there is still a lot of work to be done surrounding homelessness, there also has been a lot of progress, especially with the Homeless Resource Centers,” said Scott Howell, member, Pioneer Park Coalition Board of Directors. “The Pioneer Park Coalition was one of the first to get on board with the Homeless Resource Center model, which is proving to be an effective way for many experiencing homelessness to get the help and services they need to get back on their feet.”
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About Shelter the Homeless
Shelter the Homeless is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to serve individuals experiencing homelessness and working with partners to develop safe facilities and expand solutions to prevent and end homelessness in Utah.