Millions to be spent on housing for homeless young adults

Aug 15, 2023, 6:05 PM | Updated: 6:33 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A $2.9 million dollar grant awarded to the Salt Lake Rotary Club was announced today to immediately expand housing for young adults experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake County.

The money will be used to purchase housing for the Milestone Transitional Living Program, which helps young adults 18-21 transitioning out of foster care or facing homelessness find stability.

“A large part of what Milestone TLP is trying to support is these young people, to help them get their first job and secure it, to graduate high school or go onto college,” Mina Koplin, Section Manager for Salt Lake County Youth Services said.

The grant was announced Tuesday at luncheon with First Lady Aby Cox and Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.

In a statement provided to KSL TV Mayor Wilson said:

“This initiative resonates with Salt Lake County’s core values of inclusivity and compassion, aiding unsheltered youth in reclaiming their lives. The dedication of the Salt Lake Rotary Club in confronting homelessness head-on is truly inspirational. I am optimistic that this funding will usher in positive transformations for these young people who are seeking guidance to stabilize their lives. This type of bold intervention will make a generational impact on these young people and their families.”

With the additional funding, the Milestone TLP plans to expand from currently helping 19 young adults each year, to 37.

“When they come into the Milestone program they can stay up to a year and a half, they work on all of their skills,” Koplin said.

While young adults participate in the Milestone TLP they have a case manager and learn life skills training. They also get help with their education and employment and receive mental health counseling.

“When they come into the Milestone program many of them haven’t had a job or a bed to sleep in, their own bed, they come in they get their own room, they have their own space, and you see them start to make their own goals and dreams their reality,” Koplin said.

The Milestone TLP currently has three houses in Sandy, and a four-plex in West Valley City. Koplin said it’s possible the new funding could help purchase a housing complex.

“When we talk about success rates, 86% of young adults that leave our program are successful, meaning their housed and employed when they leave the program and of that 86%, 82% after two years never come back into the homeless system,” Koplin said.

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Millions to be spent on housing for homeless young adults