|Hollowell and her husband Bob with U. S. Senator Orrin Hatch|
Carol Hollowell, Executive Director at Switchpoint Shelter and Resource Center at 948 N. 1300 West, reported on the progress of her organization in its first year of operation. Among impressive statistics, she noted the completion of a new 2500 square foot pantry building on their campus which provides food for an average of 2300 families each month. Approximately 1800 individuals and families were sheltered at SwitchPoint in the past twelve months and plans are in the works for more emergency and transitional housing.
Currently there are 18 dorm-room style accommodations available for overnight or longer stays for up to 130 individuals. These accommodations include bunk beds and cots, a shower, and laundry services. SwitchPoint also offers classes (GED, food handlers, etc) and 13 wraparound services each week on a regular schedule.
Hollowell and her husband Bob recently returned from a cross country (San Francisco to Virginia) bike ride where they visited 19 of 23 shelters they had on their itinerary (“four we had planned to visit had closed their doors due to lack of funding” she noted). “Like us, everyone of the shelters are struggling in two areas –long term funding and lack of affordable housing – especially for those with mental health issues,” said the Director. At the end of the Hollowell’s ride, they met with U. S. Senator Mike Lee (“a champion for thinking outside the box”) who commended Switchpoint as a model for other communities across the country in dealing with issues relating to mental illness and homelessness, including a growing number of children in the Washington County School District categorized as homeless. “Lack of education is the biggest contributor to poverty,” states Hollowell.
How can SGR help? Switchpoint needs “more of everything … more funding, more volunteers who can teach computer classes, serve meals, provide counsel and write grants.” For more information, contact Hollowell at 435-627-4663 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.