SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Homelessness is an issue that Salt Lake City has been battling for many years. Many local organizations are working to remedy the crisis. The first step though, is giving people shelter.
Elisabeth Purvis has been living with her family at The Road Home shelter in downtown Salt Lake City for just under a year. She says that while life in the shelter is not ideal, she is thankful to have a place to keep her children safe and warm.
In Salt Lake City, about 12 percent of people are paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing. Ideally, that number should be closer to 30 percent or less of their income.
Jeniece Olsen of The Road Home explains, “Those are the families that we end up seeing on our doorstep, because something went wrong that month. A kid had to go to the hospital, somebody lost their job, these are families that are living paycheck to paycheck, and cannot afford to have a crisis.”
However, when crisis does occur, places like The Road Home, The Rescue Mission and more work to get people sheltered, and back into the community. As soon as someone enters emergency shelter, the goal is to get them back into housing as soon as possible. Every individual or family has access to case managers and housing locators who help them navigate the often
“Shelter is not the solution to homelessness, housing is the solution,” says Olsen.
For Purvis and her children, the search for housing is nearly over, and they will be moving into an apartment in the next few weeks. Purvis says in the future she wants to go back to school, and buy a home for her family to live in.
There are many other resources that organizations like The Road Home, Volunteers of America, the Rescue Mission and other community partners have available. You can learn more about these organizations and services by visiting the links below.
Volunteers of America:
The Road Home
Rescue Mission of Salt Lake:
Salt Lake County Local Homeless Coordinating Committee:
Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund:
Resources for those in need of services:
National Low Income Housing Coalition: