LOCAL NEWS

Demolition Of Downtown Shelter Underway Amid Mixed Reactions From Workers, Homeless

Jan 28, 2020, 5:37 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah —Demolition of The Road Home’s downtown shelter began Monday amid mixed reactions from local workers and the area’s homeless.

“I said, ‘What?’ and I looked around the corner and sure enough!” said Randy Barnard. “It hit me.”

Barnard, who had spent time at the shelter on and off over the past 10 years, found himself taking pictures and videos of the dismantling of the decades-old building.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Doug Bennett, another homeless man. “It’s crazy!”

For others, however, the demolition of the building at 210 S. Rio Grande represented another notable turning point.

With the success  Operation Rio Grande has already seen in targeting and reducing crime, Rio Grande Café general manager Max Bell said change to the area has been significant.

He was bullish about the potential for economic growth in the years to come.

“It’s just completely different now,” Bell said. “I’m unbelievably optimistic.”

That sentiment was also echoed by Josh Loftin, who works at the Rio Grande Depot as the communications director for the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts.

Crews begin the demolition of The Road Home shelter in downtown Salt Lake City on Jan. 27, 2020. (Photo: Andrew Adams)

Crews begin the demolition of The Road Home shelter in downtown Salt Lake City on Jan. 27, 2020. (Photo: Andrew Adams)

“It would surprise me if you didn’t see some pretty good investment down here in the next few years,” Loftin said. “To have it as a place that maybe (people) would want to stop or not walk all the way through — it’d be nice.”

Construction crews said the building was expected to be torn down in about two weeks’ time, with project completion expected sometime in March.

State officials told the Deseret News Monday the property was expected to be sold with a listing price of $4.4 million.

Barnard said he has found the new homeless resource centers located elsewhere to be less-than-ideal, and he was admittedly bitter as a result.

“As far as the homeless this winter, there are a lot of people suffering,” Barnard said. “I’ve actually tried to get into the shelter four different times – the new resource centers is what they call them — and have not been able to get in and have had to sleep outside. I don’t know what they were thinking.”

Still, he waxed sentimental about the old shelter being torn down.

“Yeah, there have been some times here,” Barnard smiled. “It’s emotional — definitely emotional.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Railroad crossing safety...
Katija Stjepovic

Bill to make Utah railroad crossings safer advances in House

As the beehive state continues to grow, more people are commuting, whether by car, train, or foot, we have seen more collisions on Utah`s railroads.
20 hours ago
The Provo Airport is beyond capacity, and plans are being made for increased service and more growt...
Alex Cabrero

New Provo Airport discussing expansion after year of rapid growth

A new airport in Provo is already at capacity and continually growing -- discussions of expanding and additional service are already underway.
20 hours ago
Inversion over Salt Lake City...
Jed Boal

UTA free fare year proposed to improve Utah’s air quality

The bipartisan Utah Legislative Clean Air Caucus unveiled several bills and appropriations Tuesday aimed at improving air quality in Utah.  
20 hours ago
emergency lights...
Madison Swenson

Man found dead at Park City apartment complex

A man was found dead at an apartment complex in Park City Tuesday morning.
20 hours ago
Ella Stoddard packs gift bags for children...
Ashley Moser

5B45: Teaching children empathy through regular service projects

When the Stoddard family learned about the nearly 14,000 students in Salt Lake City schools who don’t know where their next meal will come from, they knew they needed to help.
20 hours ago
Entering Brigham City Utah,  you're met with this beautiful scenery. (Scott Taylor)...
Madison Swenson

UPDATE: Endangered Brigham City teen found, ‘safe and healthy’

Police are asking for the public's help in locating a 14-year-old boy from Brigham City who is considered to be endangered.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Demolition Of Downtown Shelter Underway Amid Mixed Reactions From Workers, Homeless