South Salt Lake Mayor responds after city chosen as site for men’s homeless shelter

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah - After the announcement Thursday of which homeless populations each of the three new homeless shelters in the valley will serve, South Salt Lake residents expressed their concerns.

Friday, South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood said she would stand by their side.

"[I want] to protect my residents, to protect my city, and make sure that what we've been told we're getting is actually what we're getting," she said.

Wood was at the meeting where the population designations were announced.

In South Salt Lake at 3380 South 1000 West, there will be a homeless shelter for men. The shelter for women will be in Salt Lake City near 131 East and 700 South. A shelter serving a mix of both will be near 275 West High Avenue (near 1400 South) in Salt Lake City.

"What I was told is that it's the working-class men, so those who are not chronically homeless," Wood said. "The ones that have jobs or are close to getting jobs and just don't have the resources to support themselves yet."

She added that's "as far as she understands," but said things seem to change when it comes to what she hears from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

FOX 13 reached out to Mayor McAdams' office and was redirected to Janelle Fluckiger, the Executive Director for Shelter the Homeless.

"It's hard to make everyone happy," she said, adding she understands the concerns the surrounding communities have.

She said she wanted to assure people the placement of the homeless populations was a decision two years in the making.

"There's been a lot of analysis of the system, of the numbers, of what it will take, the populations and where they can go," she said.

She said her organization's goal is to keep these shelters functioning almost like a revolving door.

"What we want to do is get people housed where they're stable, and then if they need additional services, do all that we can to get them tied into those," she said.

Fluckiger said these shelters will also serve as an opportunity for some research. Her organization will be able to evaluate which programs work and do not work. They also have been and will continue to work with the community and police to measure crime and community impact, which, she said, is hopefully minimal.

Some goals are in place, but a lot of decisions have yet to be made, and Mayor Wood said she has a lot of questions that need answered.