November 10, 2020 (Salt Lake City) – The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute today released an assessment of Utah Homeless Services and a new governance structure and funding model. The Gardner Institute prepared this assessment and makes these recommendations at the request of the Utah Legislature following the passage of H.B. 440 in the 2020 General Legislative Session.
The assessment includes the results of a collaborative review process involving participation from legislators, the executive branch, homeless service providers, local government, the philanthropic community, and other business and community leaders. It offers six recommendations that will create a simpler, more transparent, and coordinated system for homeless services that will be more effective, efficient, and will improve alignment between public and private efforts:
- Restructure top-level governance – Restructure homeless governance in the state, including the appointment of a Utah Homeless Services Officer and create the Utah Homeless Council (UHC) housed in the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.
- Appoint homeless services officer – Appoint a Homeless Services Officer who will act as the executive director of the Utah Homeless Council and lead the state’s response to homelessness.
- Create Utah Homeless Council – Create the Utah Homeless Council to serve as the state’s coordinating and decision-making body for homelessness. The UHC would replace the State Homeless Coordinating Committee.
- Create Philanthropic Consortium – Create a consortium of private funders who will coordinate their efforts and funding for homeless services. The consortium would also be represented on the Utah Homeless Council.
- Improve local coordination – Improve communication and coordination of local homeless efforts and include local homeless councils on the state’s Utah Homeless Council through representatives appointed by the Utah Homeless Network.
- Develop coordinated funding model – Create an annual state-wide funding plan that builds from local to regional to a consolidated statewide plan. The plan would include both funding and planning efforts to reduce homelessness in Utah.