Month: February 2017

Press Release: Next steps for addressing Utah homeless crisis announced

Press Release
For Immediate Release
February 24, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Majority Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Next steps for addressing Utah homeless crisis announced

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Speaker of the House, state leadership and the mayors of Salt Lake County and City announced the next steps to address the homelessness crisis in Utah. The plan includes a new direction of the shelter model that breaks up the one-size-fits-all model into three resource centers— two in Salt Lake City and one located outside the city but in Salt Lake County.

“This proposal will allow us to move forward in our efforts to better serve those experiencing homelessness in Utah and relieves some of the pressure on Salt Lake City in providing those services. While the location and size of resource centers are changing slightly, what remains the same is the unprecedented level of cooperation and dedication among City, County, and State leaders in working with service providers to compassionately address this issue,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

“At the state’s request, we will provide options for locating a homeless resource center outside of Salt Lake City. We believe the framework of this plan as outlined today will make it possible to reach our Collective Impact goal of minimizing homelessness, enhancing public safety, meeting the needs of those in crisis and helping them return to stable and independent lives,” said Mayor Ben McAdams.

Next steps include:

  • Improvements in coordinating resources across the housing and homelessness delivery system.
  • Two facilities in Salt Lake City. Each facility will serve up to 200 individuals.
  • One facility to be located outside of Salt Lake City is scheduled to be selected by March 30, 2017.
  • The current downtown shelter is anticipated to close by June 30, 2019.

A new bill sponsored by Rep. Francis Gibson will be presented to finalize funding for the new centers, which will utilize the process created under H.B. 436 Housing and Homelessness Reform Initiative from 2016. Under the direction of the State Homeless Coordinating Committee, the Department of Workforce Services will continue to work closely with the County and City to ensure funds are used as directed by the legislation and the approved plan.

“As I mentioned in my opening day remarks at the start of this session I’m drawing a line in the sand.  Homelessness and the criminal element that is preying on the most vulnerable amongst us is a statewide issue. One city, one county and the state alone can’t take this on by itself. We’ve come together in a collaborative effort, we’ve listened to concerns, and we’ve come up with a unified plan to reform this issue and address this crisis. It hasn’t been easy, and we are just getting started, but together we are committed to make this right and reform the way we address this crisis,” said Speaker Greg Hughes.

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NOTES:

  1. The homelessness proposal can be found here: http://www.utahreps.net/press/homelessness-proposal

 

 

 

 

Homelessness Proposal – 2017 Utah State Legislative Session February 24, 2017

Homelessness Proposal
2017 Utah State Legislative Session February 24, 2017

Over the last two years, stakeholders from all sectors — public, private, and nonprofit — have been working to responsibly address the homelessness crisis we face in our state. Through this work, we have developed a plan to break up the ‘one-size-fits-all’ shelter model and reorient the system to minimize homelessness.

Plan Overview

This plan has four primary components:

  • A redesigned shelter model that breaks up the one-size-fits-all emergency shelter into four resource centers, tailoring services to population needs. There will be a family resource center in Midvale, two facilities in Salt Lake City capped at 200 beds each, and another resource center located in an area outside Salt Lake City. These resource centers will serve distinct populations of adult women, adult men and a gender-segregated facility serving both adult men and women. Population locations will be determined at a later date. No additional facility for families with children is anticipated at this time, as the intent is to divert and prevent these families from entering homelessness through the alternatives discussed below.
  • Alternatives to shelter will continue to be pursued to draw down demand for emergency shelter. Efforts include Salt Lake County’s Pay for Success initiative which targets persistently homeless individuals, more affordable housing, behavioral healthcare treatment facilities, increased diversion, additional e orts to reduce length of stay at a shelter and prevent repeat stays, motel vouchers and other alternatives to meet shelter demand.
  • System improvements that more efficiently coordinate resources across the housing and homelessness delivery system, including a coordinated entry and assessment system.
  • A public safety and treatment initiative, similar to Operation Diversion launched last fall, to ensure neighborhoods are safe and individuals have access to treatment.

Full funding for the above plan is anticipated to move forward this legislative session.

Next Steps 

Utilizing the process created by last year’s HB436 Housing and Homelessness Reform Initiative, funds will be distributed to achieve the above plan. At the request of the state, through a process facilitated by Salt Lake County, stakeholders will identify possible sites for a resource center located in an area outside Salt Lake City for consideration and approval by the State Homeless Coordinating Committee by March 30, 2017. If implemented, the state anticipates being able to responsibly close the downtown emergency shelter by June 30, 2019.

Speaker Hughes, state officials and Salt Lake County and City mayors to announce next steps on homeless plan

Media Alert
For Immediate Release
February 24, 2017

Contact:
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

 Speaker Hughes, state officials and Salt Lake County and City mayors to announce next steps on homeless plan

What:
Press conference announcing progress on the collaborative effort among the State, Salt Lake County and City on the homeless resource centers and the legislation to move the plan forward.

 Where:
State Capitol – Presentation Room, First Floor
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

 When:
TODAY, February 24, 2017, at 11:00 AM

 Who:
Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, District 51
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, District 9
Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox
Jonathan Hardy, Department of Workforce Services

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Media Alert: Rep. Steve Eliason to Raise Awareness of Suicide with Shoe Display

Media Alert
For Immediate Release
February 21, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Rep. Steve Eliason to Raise Awareness of Suicide with Shoe Display

What:
Rep. Steve Eliason to hold a press conference with the Utah Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to raise awareness about suicide. A display of combat boots from the National Guard and shoes from Deseret Industries to represent the more than 600 (74 servicemen and women) lives lost to suicide in Utah last year.

Where:
Utah State Capitol – South Steps
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Today, February 21, immediately following floor time at approximately 12:00 PM. The display of shoes and combat boots will begin at 9:00 AM

Who:
Representative Steve Eliason, District 45
Utah Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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Media Advisory: Bill to Lower Blood Alcohol Content Levels to be Heard in Committee

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
February 9, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Majority Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Bill to Lower Blood Alcohol Content Levels to be Heard in Committee

Salt Lake City – Rep. Norm Thurston’s bill, H.B. 155, to lower the state’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels for driving under the influence from 0.08 to 0.05 for the general population will be heard in House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice on Friday.

Dr. T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, will present data and answer questions about the bill.

“Utah can lead the way as the first state to lower the legal limit to 0.05 for the general population,” said Rep. Thurston. “It is well known that impairment begins with the first drink, but many drivers don’t realize that even low levels of BAC can degrade skills and increase the risk of vehicle crashes. Decreasing the legal limit will help reduce deaths, injuries and losses related to alcohol-impaired driving.”

 Who:
Representative Norm Thurston, District 64
Dr. T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, Vice Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board

What:
Hearing on H.B. 155 – Driving Under the Influence and Public Safety Revisions 

Where:
House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee
House Building, Room 30
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Friday, February 10, 2017, beginning at 3:00 p.m.  

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