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To honor his mother, Salt Lake City businessman Pat King, 79, this week gave $4 million to help build a homeless women's shelter/resource center in Salt Lake City.

"It's really incredible and exciting," Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said of the gift. "It will serve many people for generations."

King's mother, Geraldine E. King, was a devout Catholic who raised seven children on her own. "I remember being poor," King said, "But I don't want to say I was in need."

The family got by with public assistance and help from in-laws, he said. Nonetheless, his mother was always willing to help others, King recalled. She attended Mass every day until she became too frail to drive. She died in April at age 97.

Despite his humble childhood, King has been quite successful. Friday, he said he wanted to give something back to the community. The planned facility will be named the Geraldine E. King Women's Resource Center.

"You are trying to help people with some of the same issues my mother had," he said. "I feel like we all need to help."

For the past two years, community leaders in Salt Lake County have sought better solutions for homeless people, and King has followed the developments.

"This is something my mother would love to be part of," he said. "This is something my mother would be proud of."

Salt Lake City, in conjunction with Salt Lake County, along with the state and other public and private partners, will build four 150-bed homeless shelters that also will act as resource centers to help people become self-reliant. The effort is now under the umbrella of the county's Collective Impact Steering Committee.

Earlier this year, the Legislature set aside $9.2 million for the facilities and programs. Advocates are seeking equivalent funding in 2017 and 2018. The $27 million request breaks down with $20 million for facilities and $7 million for ongoing services.

A women's resource center is budgeted to cost $12.5 million, including the land purchase, McAdams said.

"We know there is not enough funding from the state, city and county to do what we want to do," McAdams said, adding that the Collective Impact initiative is seeking private donations with the aid of The Community Foundation of Utah.

On Dec. 13, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the City Council announced the locations of the four planned centers. They are: 653 E. Simpson Ave. (2300 South); 275 W. High Ave. (1400 South), 131 E. 700 South and 648 W. 100 South.

A majority of the council are pushing for a women-only shelter or women-and-children shelter on Simpson Avenue. It is the only one of the four sites that abuts a residential neighborhood.

McAdams said Friday that the Collective Impact Steering Committee would not consider the demographic breakdown of each shelter until Jan. 11. But he added that the Simpson Avenue location would be good for a women's shelter.

Through the trials and tribulations of his youth with six siblings, King didn't lose hope, largely due to his mother. Looking over the crowds gathered around The Road Home shelter on downtown's Rio Grande Street, King said he saw people in great need.

"What my mother was able to contribute was hope," he said. "We want people to realize there is hope."

County Collective Impact Steering Committee

P Jan. 11, 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.. Salt Lake County Government Center, 2001 So. State Street, Conference Room N2-800.

The panel is scheduled to consider the demographic breakdown of the four shelters. Generally, this committee does not take public input at its meetings.

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