Shelter the Homeless has purchased two properties, the former Econolodge Inn & Suites in Sandy and the former Motel 6 in South Salt Lake. The intent is to remodel the facilities and, along with partners The Road Home and Fourth Street Clinic, open them to provide interim housing for seniors, veterans, individuals with serious medical challenges, and families that are experiencing homelessness.
Medically Vulnerable People (MVP) Motel
The MVP program targets acquisition and rehabilitation of a motel to provide private and safe rooms to improve the health and housing outcomes of approximately 165 individuals experiencing homelessness. It will provide a non-congregate setting to address the acute needs of individuals experiencing homelessness who are aging, vulnerable, medically frail, in need of recuperative care, and/or have an underlying health condition or compromised immune system. This program has been endorsed as a top priority by the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, has received funding from the State, SLC, SLCo and private donors, and when combined with additional deeply affordable housing, this project addresses an immediate gap of supportive care for this population. In addition, it is designed to be flexible and can pivot as the medical and housing needs of the community continue to evolve. MVP is a pioneer project in Salt Lake County and Utah. It is built on the strengths of partnering organizations and the two existing proofs-of-concept, which can be leveraged and scaled to address existing service gaps. The MVP partner organizations bring operational expertise to the acquired facility. The Road Home will provide building operations and housing case management. Fourth Street Clinic will provide medical care, assessment, referral and care oversight. Shelter the Homeless will hold the asset and manage the property.
All clients will be admitted by referral only from qualified community partners, based on pre-screened vulnerability criteria. Walk-ins are not accepted. Program referrals will be made from Homeless Resource Centers (HRCs) and street outreach teams to the unsheltered who are camping. All tenants of the facility will be prioritized for placement using Salt Lake County’s Coordinated Entry prioritization process for medically vulnerable individuals. The clients will remain in the MVP program with medical and housing support until suitable, permanent housing can be obtained that best meets the needs of each individual.
In the coming weeks, Shelter the Homeless will submit a general development application with Sandy City and will work through a formal public process with the zoning administrator, planning commission and Sandy City Council. Throughout the process, Shelter the Homeless and partners will provide program information to key stakeholders, including the entire Sandy community, regarding the function of the program and facility. The MVP program is a best practice model of care that focuses on providing health care services for the medically vulnerable.
Shelter the Homeless is committed to doing things the right way and engaging with Sandy in an open and transparent manner. The MVP Program is the result of years of testing, strategizing, and planning, and this model will help address a critical need that was lacking in our continuum of homelessness care in Salt Lake County and provides a long-term investment to help improve housing and health outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. We are excited about this new opportunity because this type of care will improve health outcomes and save lives.