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West Valley City Journal

Public services get boost from city’s CDBG funds

Jul 30, 2018 03:02PM ● By Travis Barton

The Road Home is one of 19 different public services to receive CDBG funding from West Valley City. (City Journals file photo)

By Travis Barton | [email protected] 

Public services that treat many West Valley City residents will receive funding after a unanimous vote by the city council on July 17. 

Just over $196,000 will spread to 19 approved public service projects. The money comes via the US Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Community Development Block Grant program. Of the over $1.3 million the city received, up to 15 percent is allowed in total allocation for public service projects. The rest will be distributed to administration (which is capped at 20 percent of funds), neighborhoods and infrastructure.

“It’s nice when we get some of our tax dollars back from the federal government and are able to distribute those on a local level to all of the good people involved in serving our community,” said Councilman Steve Buhler during the July 17 council meeting.

Six different services spoke during the meeting expressing their gratitude for being allotted funding. 

Amberlie Phillips is the chief development officer at the YWCA. The $7,000 they received is for their Women in Jeopardy program, a crisis shelter that provides case management, support groups and access to community resources. Phillips said of the almost 700 women and children they treated last year, 89 were from West Valley City. 

“We thank you for your support of this vitally important work, and thank you for your commitment to healing and providing safe shelter for those in need,” she told the council.

Matt Minkevitch, executive director of The Road Home, thanked the city for the $8,400 for their resource center and community shelter. “We look forward to the day when we don’t need so many shelters in our community,” he said. 

Peggy Daniel, development director at the South Valley Sanctuary—a domestic violence survivor shelter that received $16,000—said they housed 125 WVC residents last year, the largest amount they serve. That would end up including 349 hours specifically dedicated to children of WVC, 512 hours of case management and 343 hours of clinical support.   

“All of these services are provided free to the residents of West Valley and we certainly appreciate all the support you give us,” Daniel told the council. 

Councilman Jake Fitisemanu Jr. thanked both these services and the staff for its selection process.  

West Valley City has a CDBG committee, led by Heather Royall, made up of seven members including both staff and residents. The committee listens to presentations from varying agencies and interviews them, reviews applications and evaluates funding requests before recommending—by vote—which agency ranks highest and would be most impactful to residents. 

Layne Morris, director of community preservation, told the city council the committee gives a score to each agency based on four criteria: fit with the city’s five-year plan, organizational capacity, metrics provided of their efforts and the ability to spend the money. 

The 16 other services to also be apportioned funds are: West Valley City Neighborhood Services, Legal Aid Society, Family Support Center, Salt Lake Community Action Program, United Way 2-1-1, YMCA, West Valley City Victim Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, WVCPD, The INN Between, Utah Cultural Celebration Center, Salt Lake Community Action Program, WVC Family Fitness Center, Utah Health and Human Rights Project, English Skills Learning Center and Asian Association of Utah.