The Friends of Switchpoint may soon have a facility for expanded community services in Tooele County.
The Tooele County Commission approved an agreement with Friends of Switchpoint to make them the property manager for the county’s supportive housing facility on Vine Street.
Once approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Friends of Switchpoint may start using the facility for expanded services, according to Christy Johnson, director of the Tooele Community Resource Center.
Tooele County’s supportive housing facility got its start when Tooele County purchased the home of former Tooele City councilman John Hansen in April 2011.
The 6,796-square-foot home was once the company hospital for the Tooele Smelter, and includes a five-bedroom home on the first floor, four apartments, and a basement that was remodeled into three bedrooms.
The property was purchased for $458,570 with a $320,770 Community Development Block Grant through the Utah State Division of Housing and part of a federal Department of Housing and Urban Development grant that provided partial funding for Tooele County Relief Services.
Operational costs were funded by an $117,000 three-year HUD grant that was matched by United Way funds.
Tooele County reached out to Switchpoint, a nonprofit organization based in St. George, and contracted with them to take over the Tooele County Food Bank, Relief Services, and the Domestic Violence Shelter of July 1, 2020.
Switchpoint has been operating a resource center, food pantry, and other social services in St. George for several years, including a substance rehabilitation facility, affordable housing units, and a soup kitchen.
They would like to offer similar services here in Tooele County. The supportive housing facility may allow services such as showers, an offsite location for temporary emergency overnight housing, and other services.
Friends of Switchpoint will manage the county’s supportive housing facility for two years, after which the plan is for Switchpoint to move into the old Harris Elementary School building which they have already purchased along with the Tooele County Housing Authority according to Johnson.