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New homeless youth shelter opens in Salt Lake City

New homeless youth shelter opens in Salt Lake City (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) The brand new Volunteers of America Youth Resource Center for Homeless and At Risk Youth will open its doors on Tuesday, May 24 at 10:30 a.m. in Salt Lake City. The public is invited for tours from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

The new, two-story, light-filled modern building on the corner of 900 South and 400 West replaces the old, small and gritty shelter on State Street.

"We are going to support them in their dreams and help them reach their goals so they don't become homeless for too long," said Kathy Bray, CEO of Volunteers of America of the hundreds of homeless youth who will use the facility and take part in its programs.

The new VOA youth shelter will provide 30 youth, ages 15 to 22, a warm play to sleep overnight. During the day, Bray expects some 40 to 60 youth will have meals, work on their high school classes or register for college at the facility in its light-filled computer rooms. The same youth can attend therapy sessions and receive guidance in searching for jobs or apartments.

Bray said the daytime program will be structured like a school schedule. The day begins with breakfast, then classes. After lunch there are more sessions followed by dinner.

The goal is to help the homeless youth onto a path of self-sufficiency where they can afford to live on their own.

The building is modern. Every wall features windows that let in natural light, creating an inviting and cheery environment. There is an outdoor hang-out area that is only accessible if you check into the facility.

The VOA Youth Resource Center cost 6 million dollars. The project was funded mostly by donations.

The shelter will run with the help of volunteers and will always be in need of donations. Bray said aside from cash donations, the youth always need new underwear, socks and shoes.

Follow Cristina Flores on Twitter @Cristina2News for breaking news, updates and more.

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