This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would help build more and smaller shelters for the homeless in Salt Lake County dispersing them from two main shelters now used.
Senators voted 24-2 to pass HB436 but because it was amended, it goes back to the House for final consideration. The House passed an earlier version of the bill on a 72-0 vote.
Instead of sending all the homeless in Salt Lake County to the Road Home shelter in Salt Lake City and a winter overflow in Midvale, the proposal seeks to build more and smaller shelters in other, as-yet-unidentified neighborhoods.
Advocates seek $27 million over three years to help design, build and operate new shelters. In the first year, legislation would provide $7 million for facilities and $3 million in ongoing funding for services.
Rep. Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, the bill's sponsor, earlier said the 900 to 1,200 people in the Road Home on some nights "is too big of a concentration in one place." He said the overcrowding fails to help with transition to independent living.
A task force studying homelessness last year recommended the approach of building more facilities for the homeless in more neighborhoods.