The news lately, grim as it's been, has a few positive notes. The new Geraldine E. King Women's Resource Center is opening soon, followed by the new men's resource center and a coed shelter. The opening dates are in question due to delays in construction and lack of funds, to wit: the South Salt Lake men's resource center at 3380 S. 1000 West is facing a possible state takeover. South Salt Lake has drawn a line in the sand and won't give permits to the new shelter if clients show up without a referral; if background checks aren't done by police; and if shelter stays aren't limited to a maximum of 90 days.
Despite all the squabbling, two other shelters are working just fine (and quietly) in Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake. You don't hear much about them because, frankly, they're run so well. The Center for Women & Children, run by the Volunteers of America in Murray, is a small shelter helping women who need to complete the detoxification process, while taking care of their children, and moving toward self-sufficiency. They are desperate for individuals or groups to help provide any meal there, seven days a week, three times a day. Hell, you can order pizza for lunch and the 30 or so women and kids would be delighted to not eat the usual food bank fare. Go to voaut.org for more info. The VOA also runs the Youth Resource Center for homeless youth at 888 S. 400 West. Again, you never hear about this shelter because the staff and volunteers do a kick-ass job feeding the kids, getting them showers, clothes and mentors. They need volunteers and are always looking for donations of new or gently used clothes for kids and young adults 15-22 years old.
Finally, there's The Inn Between. Salt Lake's charity is boundless. Imagine if you're dying from cancer and you're living on the streets. This shelter enables you to have a room, food and love. It's helping end the tragic history of vulnerable people dying on our streets. Personally, I think the staff and volunteers there all need to be nominated for sainthood, but some cranky-ass neighbors went all NIMBY when the shelter moved to a formerly licensed nursing home facility just west of 1300 East on 1300 South. They complained that drug dealers and other undesirables were hanging around the facility. It makes anyone who's been to The Inn Between laugh, because many clients can barely walk out of their rooms to get food. The rest of the neighbors had hundreds of signs made that said, "The Inn Between Is Welcome!" as a response to those raising a ruckus, and the hospice goes on, quietly doing its good deeds.