Community Development Block Grant
Salt Lake City, UT - Mayor Deedee Corradini
Our House Child Care and Education Center/Homeless Children's Foundation
Our House, Salt Lake City's unique child care center for homeless and low-income children, combines CDBG resources with local funding and community support to provide a stable, nurturing environment for the most vulnerable and valuable members of the community. It accepts children regardless of whether one or both parents are employed.
At any given time, 30 families can be found residing in the Salt Lake Community Shelter and Self-Sufficiency Center - an average of 50 adults and 70 children each day - and another 30 families can be found on a six-to-eight-week waiting list. The shelter, which has housed as many as 84 children at one time, has no program for pre-school children.
Incorporated in 1989 as a 501(c)(3) organization, the Homeless Children's Foundation was established initially to provide day care scholarships for pre-school-age homeless children. It established the Our House Child Care and Education Center in 1991 in response to the lack of quality, affordable child care services. Housed in temporary facilities during its first years of operation, in 1995 it moved into a permanent facility - in the heart of the City's Gateway Restoration and Revitalization Project - which gives it the capacity to serve 44 children. Our House is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, offering care for children between four weeks and five years of age. It operates on a sliding fee scale to accommodate families that may not otherwise be able to obtain services.
City officials say that Our House distinguishes itself among child care facilities because of its underlying philosophy of creating a nurturing, stable environment for children whose lives often are disrupted, and because of its Integrated Services Program in which a coordinator manages well-child checks - immunizations, dental screenings, audiology testing, speech testing and assessments for cognitive development, among them - and collaborates with the family to follow through on the recommendations derived from the checks.
The annual budget for Our House is approximately $200,000. Salt Lake City has contributed CDBG funds ($24,000 over two years) for playground equipment, health supplies, educational equipment, and for the salary of a cook. Salt Lake County's CDBG funds ($45,000 over two years) have been used to pay salaries.
Contact: Karen Denton, Director, Homeless Children's Foundation, (801) 596-9366 or Anita Short, Planner, Salt Lake City Housing and Neighborhood Development, (801) 535-7115
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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