Bridging the Opportunity Divide

13 Images of Resilient Utah Residents Who Survived Being Homeless

January 28, 2015
13 Images of Resilient Utah Residents Who Survived Being Homeless
Crystal Spencer, left, talks to her daughters Sandra Anderson, right, and Phoenix Anderson, middle, in their two-bedroom apartment at the Palmer Court Apartments. Kim Raff for NationSwell
In the second of a four-part series about Utah ending homelessness, see how one apartment complex provides much-needed shelter to its occupants.

Chronic homelessness is down by 72 percent in Utah. That impressive figure is due in part to the state’s “Housing First” policy, which focuses on getting homeless residents into supportive housing without any prerequisites.

Because of this program, the chronically homeless in Utah now have access to places like Palmer Court, a former hotel in Salt Lake City that’s now a 200-unit safe housing complex. The facility provides clean apartments, community activities and onsite counseling to individuals and families.

Tenants in Housing First apartments abide by lease agreements and contribute $50, or 30 percent of their income (whichever is greater), towards rent each month. The program is working: for every 10 chronically homeless people housed, eight are still in the units and one has moved on to other stable housing.


Part 1: Utah Set the Ambitious Goal to End Homelessness in 2015. It’s Closer Than Ever
Part 3: The Compassionate Utah Official Who Believes in Housing First, Asking Questions Later
Part 4: Far From Finished: Utah’s 5-Step Plan to Continue Helping the Homeless