House committee approves $10 million for homeless services

SALT LAKE CITY — A House committee voted unanimously to approve $10 million that will help build new homeless shelters in the Salt Lake Valley.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and House Majority Whip Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, made a joint appearance to push House Bill 441, which funds homeless services.

Read House Bill 441 here

Two new shelters will be built in the city, and another in Salt Lake County. Mayor McAdams said Monday that they have already begun shopping for properties, with a pair of public hearings in March before a final decision by the end of that month.

“Probably about five sites we’d put forward for input and review and there’d be pros and cons with every site. We’d ask the public and stakeholders on these sites. We can make an evaluation, rank these sites and forward them to the state homeless coordinating committee,” he said.

The bill also includes $700,000 to help Ogden’s Lantern House with a financial shortfall it is experiencing.

Mayor Biskupksi announced earlier this month the city had abandoned plans for shelters in Sugar House and near the Gateway. The bill is moving quickly through the legislative session and could be voted in the full House soon.