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New Ogden homeless shelter expected to help thousands daily

Published June 17, 2015 8:29 am

Community • Ribbon-cutting ceremony marks opening of Lantern House facility.
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St. Anne's Center in Ogden opened a new facility to serve the less fortunate — with a new name: Lantern House.

The building, located at 269 W. 3300 South, was unveiled in front of hundreds on Tuesday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell and Pamela Atkinson, an advocate for the homeless, attended the hour-and-a-half ceremony.



The slogan for the opening was "Lighting the way for those in need." Board members gave tours of the facility after the ceremony concluded.

Johnnie Moore, who stayed at St. Anne's Center for three months before finding permanent housing, spoke at the event in support of the services that the shelter provides.

"They helped get me housing with my three kids," Moore said. "They helped me with clothing, food and transportation for my family."

The original St. Anne's Center, at 137 W. Binford St., will continue to function until the new facility officially opens July 20. The only homeless shelter in Ogden for about 30 years, it was beset with overcrowding, limited space and an aging building.

The new shelter has expanded from 110 to 300 beds, and added a soup kitchen, dorm space for single men and women, as well as separate family rooms.

"It's unlike any other shelter in Utah," said Jennifer Cantor, executive director of St. Anne's. "There's a divergent area for individuals experiencing crisis with mental health, intoxication and substance abuse."

Case managers will be able to help individuals who may have drug addictions or other concerns, Cantor said.

Lantern House also has a substation for police officers to drop in and complete paperwork, file reports, or just visit with the staff, at any time, 24 hours a day.

A detox center will allow the officers to transport intoxicated people to jail or the hospital, thereby reducing jail crowding and pressure on the hospital and local police services, according to an Ogden Police Department news release.

Cantor said the soup kitchen has the capacity to feed up to 1,000 individuals each day.

Lantern House was officially introduced to the public a day after Weigand Homeless Resource Center re-opened after a monthlong renovation project. The only day shelter in Salt Lake City, Weigand offers the homeless a place to receive haircuts, attend Alcoholics Anonymous classes or seek refuge from inclement weather.

Danielle Stamos, director of public relations of Catholic Community Services, said the renovations totaled $50,000 with support from Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City and the state of Utah.

A lounge, a computer lab, new floors and other upgrades were made to the building, Stamos said.

Statewide programs have been launched to end chronic homelessness, defined as being homeless for more than one year or being without a home four times across three years and having a diagnosed disability or substance-abuse problem.

According to the state Division of Housing and Community Development, nearly 2,000 of the chronically homeless have been placed in permanent and supportive housing during the past 10 years.

But, Atkinson said,"the homeless are increasing in Ogden. There is an increase in single families with children under age 6. The [chronic homelessness] program is designed to get people on the pathway to self-sufficiency."

Funding for the new facility came from philanthropists, as well as the Utah State Legislature, which provided $1 million, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which donated $1.5 million.

"It was exhilarating to see the community come together ... to support the project both financially and in-kind and volunteering," Atkinson said.

The total cost for the project was $8 million, Cantor said, adding that $600,000 still needs to be raised for the shelter to be completely paid off. Those interested in volunteering or making contributions are asked to call 801-621-5036.

 

 

 

 

 

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