Homelessness and how you can help this tax season

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Over the coming year, Utah will see some significant changes in how services are delivered for people experiencing homelessness as the large downtown shelter closes and three new resource centers open.

The resource centers are not simply shelters, they provide a new seamless system for delivering services to individuals experiencing homelessness.  Food, medical care, employment assistance and case management and other partners will be accessible on site.  The goal is to make a person's incidence of homelessness as short as possible while connecting them with the support they need to be successful.

Homelessness can seem like an overwhelming problem, and regular Utahns sometimes feel like there is nothing they can do to make a difference.  But it's tax season and that is actually one of the best and easiest times you can help.  Every Utahn has the chance to donate to the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund on their Utah State Tax Form.  The form is named for well-known advocate Pamela Atkinson, sometimes called Utah's Mother Theresa.

When you're filling your state taxes, look for the 'Contributions' section, and you'll see that the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund is item 02.  Just enter the amount you want to donate and you're done!

Donations go right to dozens of organizations in every part of the state from Logan to St. George that help homeless individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness including:

  • YWCA that provides housing for women and children who are homeless because of domestic violence
  • The Fourth Street Clinic that provides free medical care to people experiencing homelessness
  • The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City that provides homes for homeless veterans
  • Switchpoint in St. George and Lantern House in Ogden that provide emergency shelter

If you've already filled out your taxes this year, there's a brand new option to donate online as well.  Just go to jobs. utah.gov/htf to make a donation, watch videos about service provides and learn more about the fund.

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