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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Salt Lake City Rotary Club launches fundraising effort to expand transitional living services

May 05, 2023 01:14PM ● By Peri Kinder

The Salt Lake City Rotary Club supports the expansion of the Salt Lake County Youth Services Milestone Transitional Living Program and is raising the money to prove it. The Milestone TLP provides crucial transitional housing and support services for adults from 18 to 21 who have aged out of the foster care system or are at risk of homelessness.

The club held a kickoff event on March 28 to launch its fundraising efforts, with a goal to raise $3.5 million to purchase and renovate two five-plex properties to house young adults. Spring 2024 is the target for when the money is raised and the properties purchased. Since the event, Salt Lake Rotary has already raised roughly $250,000 for this project.

“We are thrilled to be launching this fundraising campaign to support the Milestone TLP,” said Jeff Young, president of the Salt Lake City Rotary Club in a press release. “This program has already made a significant impact in the lives of so many young adults who have experienced homelessness and with the community’s support we can do even more to help those in need.”

Currently, the Milestone TLP provides housing for young adults for up to 18 months and offers services such as case management, life skills training, education and employment support and mental health counseling. 

This is the only program of its kind in Salt Lake County and many consider it crucial to address the increase in the youth homeless population. The Milestone TLP started operating in 2012 and has served more than 250 young adults. In 2022, 86% of the young adults that exited the Milestone TLP were successfully housed and were employed, attending school or both.  

“It’s been said that it takes a village to take care of our young, and the partnership with the Salt Lake City Rotary Club provides the opportunity for youth experiencing homelessness in our community to change the trajectory of their lives,” said Mina Koplin, in a media release. Koplin is the current section manager of Salt Lake County Youth Services and former program manager of the Milestone TLP for more than eight years.

More than 120 young people age out of the foster care system in Utah each year, which means they are no longer wards of the state. These young adults are often at risk for homelessness, substance abuse, crime and other dangerous situations.

Funds raised through the campaign will go toward expanding the program to provide additional housing for young adults at risk of homelessness and other negative outcomes. The goal is to have young adults moving into the new facilities in the fall of 2024. 

Information on the Salt Lake City Rotary Club’s website shows that people experiencing chronic homelessness cost the public between $30,000 and $50,000 per person per year because of repeated emergency rooms and hospital visits, jails, psychiatric centers, detox and other crisis services. This cost is more than double the maintenance costs for the Milestone Living Program.

For more information on Milestone TLP visit λ