This June, Utah political leaders and advocates for homelessness gathered to celebrate cutting the ribbon for the Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center, the state’s first homeless resource facility.
The resource center is named after Pat King’s mother. He is the businessman who donated $4 million to building the shelter. The almost-opened facility has 60,000- square-feet of space, and it provides homeless women with a roof over their heads while they plan their next steps.
The Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center is at 131 E. 700 S., and it is set to open by the end of July or early August. The year’s rainy spring caused construction delays, but the project is close enough to completion to warrant a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Salt Lake City is taking major efforts to restructure the state’s homeless services system. The $14 million women’s center is the first of three centers being constructed. According to officials, the plan is to break apart the homeless population that was being helped at the Road Home. The new shelters are located at different sites.
Years of attempts to help the state’s homeless faced problems when the city began considering new sites for the centers. Leaders are committed to making them different than the downtown shelter, which was known for drug deals and crime in Salt Lake’s Rio Grande neighborhood.
Spacious, with 200 beds, the Geraldine E. King women’s center was designed to be a peaceful place where inhabitants would have access to indoor and outdoor space. Contemporary architecture makes the structure blend in with its surroundings, and the shelter will help women get out of homelessness on a long-term basis. It will be well-rounded with plenty of resources for those who live there, giving them a way to help themselves.
The women’s facility is bright and welcoming. It has a cafeteria area and a place where residents can come together to chat. The plan is to help women develop the skills they need to obtain viable employment and live on their own as soon as possible. There is a coziness to the facility so that people don’t feel like they’re living in an institution. The Geraldine E. King Women’s Center is looking for volunteers. Those who pitch in will be loading and unloading donations, refilling hygiene bins and helping with laundry.
The city has also selected a site for a 200-bed mixed gender shelter and another 300-bed shelter for men. The men’s shelter is on 1000 West in South Salt Lake, but the facility won’t be opening until September.