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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.

— Lee Davidson