During Utah's new cold snap, shelters remind homeless there's room inside
With temperatures dipping below freezing again, Salt Lake City's main homeless shelter is inviting all who need a warm place to sleep to come inside.
"No one gets turned away," said Celeste Eggert, director of development and community relations for The Road Home at 210 S. Rio Grande St.
On April 1, The Road Home's winter overflow shelter in Midvale closed its doors for the season. The warehouse-type facility opened early last October in response to a continuing flood of families who had become homeless. About two dozen families housed there were recently relocated to the main downtown shelter.
Over the past year, Eggert said, the shelters have seen a significant increase in the number of single homeless women seeking help.
"We have more beds for men than women, but the biggest increase we've seen in the last year is among single women," Eggert said. "We have no idea why."
In response, The Road Home has also opened up its crisis shelter at the main facility.
While individuals who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot stay at The Road Home, sleeping space is available immediately across the street at the St. Vincent De Paul resource center.
That site usually stays open at night between mid-October and April 1, Eggert said, "but this cold snap means that we'll let guys in there as well. Anyone needing shelter should come to us."
Matt Minkevitch, executive director of The Road Home, said that about 600 individuals lodge there on any given night.