Message From Board President, Harris Simmons
Over the past few years, Utah has gained national attention for its efforts to help those who are experiencing homelessness. We have many dedicated service providers who work tirelessly with public and private organizations to provide a safe place to eat, sleep and gain access to what they need to achieve stability in their lives. Despite these successes, more needs to be done. Even as efforts and funding have increased, we have allowed demand for emergency shelter to increase to unacceptable levels. This puts a strain on neighborhoods, law enforcement, public facilities and service providers which is unsustainable and must be addressed, both in the immediate and long term.
As President of Shelter the Homeless, I have been engaged in this effort for nearly three decades. Never before have I seen this level of demand for emergency shelter, nor the overlapping problems in the Rio Grande area. At the same time, never before have I seen such good faith efforts to find solutions on behalf of government officials, community advocates, business leaders, faith-based organizations and philanthropists. Our collective goal is to minimize homelessness in Utah. I believe we now have a plan in place to do that. The Board of Directors of Shelter the Homeless is committed to working with stakeholders toward measurably improving the lives of those in need while minimizing any negative impact on neighborhoods. I look forward to working with each of you in these worthy efforts.
Harris H. Simmons
Board President, Shelter the Homeless