That's assuming this plan sticks, which the previous ones didn't. As disjointed as the rollout of shelter sites has been, the latest plan is also the best.
The new plan does two things. First, it reduces the overall number of shelters, thereby cutting the number of neighborhoods affected while increasing some efficiencies. The second thing is that it spreads the burden of shelters beyond Salt Lake City. Data have shown that the homeless generally are Utahns, but not necessarily Salt Lake City residents (at least not until they were homeless).
Credit for reducing the number of shelters is said to come from Department of Workforce Services data about the number of homeless families. DWS indicates the current Midvale shelter should be enough for families, negating the need for the Simpson Avenue (Sugar House) site. It seems unlikely that data changed significantly since the plan for four shelters was announced in September, so it's probably more evidence that the four-site plan was never fully analyzed.
On paper, Salt Lake City is the clear winner in this latest iteration. It dropped from four 150-client shelters to two 200-person shelters, and it received a firm commitment to close the Road Home shelter in two years. While no one denies the Road Home shelter is helping people who might otherwise suffer in the elements, it is universally agreed that the environment around the shelter is an unsustainable mess.
But the city won't feel like it's winning if the closure of Road Home isn't coupled with a comprehensive attack on the surrounding crime problem. If the shelter is simply closed, the drug dealers will follow the homeless and continue to prey. The best way to address that is treatment beds, which are still better than jail beds, although admittedly we may need both at first. That also takes a statewide commitment, hopefully one that won't be such a grind.