New Housing Opening for Mentally Ill Homeless People

New Housing Opening for Mentally Ill Homeless People

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Coco Warner ReportingNearly one-third of the homeless population suffers from a mental illness and it's difficult for them to find help for their conditions in typical homeless shelters.

That's why advocates for the mentally ill are excited about a new 24-unit apartment building in Salt Lake City that offers permanent housing for its residents. The opening of "Safe Haven 2" comes on the heels of a Presidential Commission's report that suggests the very thing Salt Lake City now offers -- affordable housing that provides the mentally ill with a safe place to live.

Like anyone moving into a new place, 49-year old Rudy Delgado can't help but compare his former place to his new one. Rudy has lived in Safe Haven 1 since December and will soon move into Safe Haven 2. Previously Rudy spent much of his life living on the streets.

Advocates for the mentally ill say there's a stigma attached to those who are ill; people think they are dangerous. But the mentally ill who are homeless are often the ones who are in danger of being taken advantage of and that's why a safe place to live is crucial for their progress.

Lynette, Safe Haven Resident: “My life has taken a complete turn for the better. I no longer use or think about using. There is always somebody to talk to; I have a lot of support.”

Safe Haven 2 is the result of both public and private funding. The difference between it's companion building is time -- Safe Haven 1 is considered transitional housing while Safe Haven 2 may be a permanent home for up to 24 previously homeless people.

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