Homeless shelter in Ogden in danger of closing due to issues with state funding

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OGDEN, Utah -- The Lantern House, a homeless shelter in Ogden, is in danger of closing its doors after money allocated by the legislature to operate it did not come through.

The Lantern House, 269 West and 33rd Street, opened in 2015 to provide services to the homeless community in Ogden.

The facility was funded through House Bill 436 last year, but Senator Gregg Buxton, R-Weber County, thinks the money was never awarded because of some distribution rules.

“Money for the Lantern House has not been able to be delivered because of rules they apparently have put together,” he said. “What we’re doing this year is trying to overcome those rules so that that allocation can go to the Lantern House.”

The Lantern House needs $700,000 to pay off a loan due in April, or they will be forced to close.

“There was a carve out when this bill was put together in order to gather the support from the north to support the bill, that the Lantern House would be part of that money, and all we’re doing is asking for what was promised in the first place,” Buxton said.

Buxton said about 50 percent of people who use the Lantern House are from Ogden and the rest are from outside of the area. He said they are fighting to prevent a closure.

“The county commission, the Ogden city leaders, legislators in the House and the Senate, there's a whole team of people, lobbyists—we’re all working together on this as a team,” he said.

But the senator is hopeful and has made keeping the Lantern House open a legislative priority in Ogden.

“I think once the communication gets through and everybody understands that money was supposed to go to Ogden, the Lantern House, I think the doors will open and it will happen,” he said.