Rumors that the St. Vincent De Paul Center is "getting out of the homeless business" are inaccurate, and the center's programs are expected to continue unchanged into the foreseeable future, the head of Catholic Community Services says.
The Rev. Terry Moore, priest at St. Thomas More parish in Sandy and executive director of Catholic Community Services, which owns St. Vincent, said, "We don't have any intention of changing anything."With location of the new Salt Lake Community Shelter and Resource Center directly across the street from St. Vincent, the Catholic Diocese decided to examine the services being offered there - including a medical and dental clinic, job referrals, a soup kitchen and others - to "make certain that our services were not going to be duplicative," Moore said.
"St. Vincents are traditionally, throughout the country, soup kitchens," he said. "In Salt Lake City, we built up some of the other services because they didn't exist elsewhere. But if someone else is there doing it better than we can, we're not going to duplicate."
Study of the issue has convinced Moore that the services and assistance offered at St. Vincent are not readily available close to the shelter from another source, so the Catholic program will continue as before.
"Our concern has always been the homeless," he said, "and nothing has changed that."
St. Vincent De Paul Center's director, Claudette Reeve, recently resigned. Genie Lamb is serving as interim director while Catholic Community Services takes applications for a full-time director.