Money is now in place for completion of the $3.3 million family and single men's transitional shelter, members of Shelter the Homeless Committee were told Tuesday.
Stephen Holbrook, coordinator of the committee, said that a $250,000 gift by businessman Jon M. Huntsman has put the fund-raising effort over the top. The group has raised $3.8 million of its $4 million goal. Efforts can now focus on raising the $200,000 needed to complete the women's shelter at a yet-undetermined site. Additional money is needed to furnish the program and operate the facilities, and Holbrook hopes enough money will be available to establish a trust for ongoing costs.Travelers Aid was named lead provider of services for the shelters. The committee had tentatively awarded the contract to Volunteers of America, but voted during this meeting to give the contract to Travelers Aid, which runs the existing shelters.
Travelers Aid, under the direction of Patrick Poulin, will subcontract with other providers for services like mental health, medical and others. Final approval of the contract will be granted when Travelers Aid provides documentation requested by the committee members, including proof of adequate insurance, financial reports and a personnel roster and management plan.
Earlier, the board had intended to turn ownership of the building over to the primary provider, but members expressed concern about relinquishing title. A subcommittee is investigating several possibilities, including establishing a separate entity whose sole function would be to own the building.
Until a decision is made, United Way will maintain title to the building.
Huntsman's gift - the third largest single donation and the largest by a private individual - will be presented during a shelter construction progress tour Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. at 210 S. Rio Grande St. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Episcopal Diocese have provided the largest corporate gifts.
"I'm particularly grateful to Mr. Huntsman for these timely and much-needed funds. He has shown a personal interest with the problems of homeless people," said Mayor Palmer DePaulis, co-chairman of the committee. "Beyond the gifts, Mr. Huntsman has quietly involved himself with on-site visits to programs serving homeless people in a sincere and heart-felt effort to see what needs must be met."
Huntsman designated $150,000 for the family and men's shelter, and the remaining $100,000 will go toward purchase of a building for the women's shelter. He had contributed $100,000 earlier in the fund-raising campaign.