ST. GEORGE – City officials were given an update Thursday on the progress of a facility designed to offer multiple resources to the area’s homeless and impoverished. The official name of the facility, which has up until now been unofficially called the St. George Resource Center, was also announced.
An estimated 2,000 hours have gone into remodeling the 16,000-square-foot building that will house the facility, along with cleaning up the grounds of the property, located at 948 N. 1300 West in St. George. When the facility is complete, more than 20 different agencies will come together for the benefit of the city’s needy at the newly named “SwitchPoint Community Resource Center.”
Carol Hollowell, SwitchPoint’s executive director, said she was uncertain about the name until it was explained to her. A switch point is a spot on a railroad track where a train can be turned from one track to another, thus turning the train from a path it might have otherwise taken.
The facility is meant to be a switch point for the people it is designed to aid, Hollowell said. It is a place where the homeless and those in need can take advantage of a plethora of resources above and beyond food and temporary living services. Other services will be offered in the areas of mental health, education, employment, parenting, budgeting, mentoring and more, creating a one-stop-shop for the benefit of those the facility is designed to serve and build up.
“It takes all of us” is a motto of the facility, Hollowell said.
The idea is to help give someone the tools and training they need to go from being homeless to being employed and living on their own again, she said.
Funding for the facility, an estimated $2.4 million, is largely composed of grants, with additional money coming from the City of St. George and donations. The facility’s funding was part of a proposed amendment to the 2014-15 budget that the City Council unanimously passed Thursday night.
“This has been going along for 2 ½ years,” Mayor Jon Pike said of the concept that originally led to the creation of SwitchPoint.
Councilman Jimmie Hughes said he loves telling people about SwitchPoint because of the support the project has garnered in the community.
“People in the community buy into it and love it,” he said. “I’m excited for the future of this.”
The City of St. George bought the facility on 1300 West for the resource center in April for $1.5 million.
Work on the remodel continues, though SwitchPoint is anticipated to open by mid-August. The call for volunteers is ongoing for the remodel work and to aid in services offered after the facility opens.
Those desiring to volunteer are asked to contact Hollowell by email or by telephone at 435-674-5757.
St. George News reporter Aspen Stoddard visited the facility earlier this month and offers a more detailed treatment of the services and purpose of SwitchPoint in her story here.
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