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Innovative Solutions must be considered to have success

Editorial Opinion | By Jim Behunin

To effectively address the growing number of unsheltered homeless individuals in Salt Lake City, innovative solutions must be explored. One strategy that has proven successful in many communities in the US and Canada is the use of low-cost transition centers built by Sprung Structures Inc. These centers can be quickly constructed and equipped with 150 beds at a cost of approximately $4 million, which is significantly less than traditional brick and mortar Homeless Resource Centers.

Wayne Niederhauser, the state homelessness coordinator, and his team recently visited a Sprung transition center operated by Nevada Cares in Reno. Although they have not yet identified a suitable location in Salt Lake County, they are actively searching for an appropriate site.

Solutions Utah, an organization dedicated to finding solutions to homelessness, believes that Salt Lake County could significantly reduce its unsheltered population by constructing two 150-bed transition centers, one for men and one for women. They are working behind the scenes to raise the necessary funds to acquire land for such a facility.

The provided photo showcases a recently built homeless transition center in Kern County, California. The facility features sleeping accommodations, a cafeteria, counseling offices, and separate units with showers and toilets.

By considering the implementation of low-cost transition centers, Salt Lake City has the opportunity to make significant progress in addressing homelessness. These centers provide a cost-effective and efficient approach to providing shelter and support services for those in need.

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