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About 300 families have something to be thankful for this season with the opening of the Midvale Community Winter Shelter just in time to provide warm refuge as the weather turns cold.

The Road Home this week announced the completion of its new Midvale facility, 529 W. 7300 South, that will offer temporary shelter for families 24 hours a day from October through March.

"We're glad to have the Midvale shelter open so that we can accommodate families during the cold winter months," said Matt Minkevitch, executive director of The Road Home. "We anticipate that low-income families will find temporary shelter there this year."

Earlier this week, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker's commission on homelessness endorsed a plan that envisions small shelters throughout Salt Lake County, rather than one large one on Rio Grande Street just west of downtown. Under that plan, The Road Home's Rio Grande shelter would remain open but house fewer people.

The new Midvale shelter was built on the site of a 1940s-era warehouse that had served as a temporary winter shelter since 1989. Work began in March to provide a safe and secure facility with adequate restrooms, a kitchen, laundry room and community space. The new shelter also will offer private meeting space for families and dedicated space for caseworkers.

"We're very grateful to NJRA Architects for designing this beautiful new building, and to Hogan and Associates Construction for working tirelessly to finish the project," Minkevitch said. "We also want to say thank you again to all the organizations and individuals who donated funds to finance the rebuilding of the shelter, including the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, the Larry H. and Gail Miller Foundation, and the Utah Legislature."

The Road Home is the largest operator of homeless services in Utah. In addition to operating two shelters, The Road Home provides emergency services, case management and housing solutions to help its clients become independent and obtain affordable permanent housing.

The 2015 Utah Point-in-Time Count estimates that 14,516 people will experience homelessness in Utah this year. The Road Home provides temporary shelter to an average of 1,050 adults and children on any given day during the winter months.

"The Road Home and its community partners serve as a lifeline for the children and adults who are experiencing homelessness along the Wasatch Front," said Minkevitch. "And tackling the critical needs of so many Utahns during the winter months creates an increased need for funding and in-kind donations."

The nonprofit is happy to receive online donations at and donations of warm clothing, blankets and coats at its shelter, 210 S. Rio Grande St. (455 West) in Salt Lake City, and the Community Winter Shelter at 529 W. 7300 South (9th Avenue) in Midvale.

Christopher Smart