V.O.A.U.T. Youth Resource Center

Salt Lake’s Solution For the Homeless Youth

The negative stigma about homeless shelters has been changing for the better. New resource centers, dedicated to changing the homeless stigma, have opened up specifically for homeless women, men, and youth.


Volunteers of America, Utah opened up a resource center dedicated solely to helping youth, ages 15-22 (people younger than 18 must have their guardian’s permission). The center is called the Youth Resource Center and is located at 888 S 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101.


The Youth Resource Center opened in 2016 and was founded by Volunteers of America Utah. It began as a house on State Street and 7th South that served as a drop-in safeplace. It was only open during the day, due to the fact that they weren’t legally allowed to provide shelter to minors, but could provide services for them. “The reason for the center starting was acknowledging that there is a gap between youth and having them on the streets and we wanted there to be a place where they felt safe going,” said Byron Paulsen, program director of the Youth Resource Center.


The center offers many resources. The intake office helps those in need to explore any other option before having them stay in the center. That includes reaching out to extended family, friends, and anybody else that they can think of to help find them a place to stay. Other resources include, but are not limited to: helping youth connect with travel aide, assisting with obtaining their vital documents, providing three meals a day, a safe place to sleep (30 beds max), various support groups that help them become self reliant, housing teams, and much more.


When at the center, it’s not required to be employed, but those under the age of 18, are required to be getting some form of education. There is a public school in the area with provided transportation and there are other programs such as online school.


Currently, the Youth Resource Center is solely focused on bettering its center. They want to get more teams to help the youth become more self-reliant, and are looking to provide more services to their community. The center strives to provide the most quality work for their guests. They want to evaluate how the space is being used and how they can better what takes up the space and how they can use the space differently. As for Volunteers of America, Utah, Savannah Young (VOA Marketing and Communications Director) shared that their latest project was the opening of the Denver Apartments, low income housing for people with special needs.


They are always looking for volunteers to help around the center, but you must be 16 years of age or older, but minors must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers can help serve meals and sort donations. To find more information on volunteering, visit voaut.org.
Other resource centers that are operated by other organizations are located at: The Gail Miller Resource Center is a co-ed facility located at 242 Paramount Ave, Salt Lake City, Utah. Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center is a women’s shelter located at 131 East 700 South, Salt Lake City, which is also operated by VOAUT. The Midvale Family Shelter located at 529 9th Ave, Midvale, UT. The last resource center is a men’s resource center located at 3380 South 1000 West, South Salt Lake.


If you or someone you know is struggling and needs shelter, please contact the coordinated intake line at 801-990-9999. For more information you can visit https://homelessutah.org/resource-centers/. Remember help is out there, all you need to do is ask.