A new donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will help build 72 units for homeless support for the Friends of the Coalition, operated by the Food and Care Coalition in Provo shown here when it opened in September 2009. | Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
Money will also help fund transportation and security for overflow shelter; rental assistance to largely help single parents
The latest multimillion-dollar donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to support Utah’s homeless will help build 222 new units in the central and southern parts of the state and help provide rental assistance to single parents.
The $3.3 million donation to five organizations across the state will also provide transportation and security for an overflow shelter in the Salt Lake Valley this winter, according to a news release issued Wednesday.
The release also announced that the church has increased its humanitarian budget for a second consecutive year to provide aid worldwide to those suffering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The church has been a major donor to homeless relief efforts in Utah. Three years ago, when the church announced a $10 million donation, the Deseret News reported that the church had provided more than $52 million over the previous decade to nine groups that serve the homeless in the Salt Lake Valley.
The new funding announced Wednesday will help pay, along with aid from other donors, for construction of 72 one-bedroom units in Provo, a 150-unit homeless resource center in Tooele and the addition of a child care facility to the campus of a St. George homeless resource provider.
The donation, provided through Latter-day Saint Charities, will be distributed to The Road Home, Shelter the Homeless and Utah Community Action in the Salt Lake Valley and to Friends of the Coalition in Provo and Switchpoint in Tooele and St. George.
“We reach out to all of God’s children without exception,” said Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. “As a church, one of our priorities is caring for those in need, and we can’t do it on our own.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to homelessness. It also has added more pressure on the working poor in St. George to find child care while they try to stay flexible to absorb lost jobs or hours, said Switchpoint Resource Center executive director Carol Hollowell.
“That’s why we’re building the 24/7 child care center, so that these working families can have a safe, affordable spot for their children to be,” she said.
Utah Community Action will use the church’s funds to assist low-income families with rent for affordable housing.
“These funds will be used to provide rental assistance to help stabilize our most vulnerable households — single parent households with children,” Utah Community Action CEO Jennifer Godfrey said. “At the present time, we’re seeing a funding gap as we wait for federal and state dollars to be allocated to support eligible households in our community.”
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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News