‘The vision of Pamela’: 100 units of affordable housing open for Salt Lake City’s homeless


Gov. Gary Herbert, left, and Pamela Atkinson visit during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Pamela’s Place Apartments in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City newest, permanent supportive housing development is named after Atkinson, a longtime community advocate for people experiencing homelessness.

Gov. Gary Herbert, left, and Pamela Atkinson visit during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Pamela’s Place Apartments in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City newest, permanent supportive housing development is named after Atkinson, a longtime community advocate for people experiencing homelessness. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — As she opened the new supporting housing complex named in her honor, cutting a celebratory ribbon and hearing her virtues extolled by the likes of Utah’s governor, longtime homeless advocate Pamela Atkinson insisted the day be focused on the people the building will help — her friends.

“This really isn’t about me,” she said. “I just want to focus for a little bit on the people who are going to be living here, the people for whom this building came to fruition. And that’s our homeless friends and our low-income friends.”

The newly finished Pamela’s Place Apartments, located at 525 S. 500 West, is a five-story facility that will function as a permanent supportive housing complex for those in need, with a specific focus on helping people with disabilities.

To celebrate the building’s opening, officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the lobby Tuesday, introducing the facility to media and the public.

Atkinson was chosen as the building’s namesake in recognition of her years of humanitarian service and advocacy for the city’s homeless population. Comparing her to Mother Teresa, Herbert praised her caring and generous nature.

“When Jesus said in the New Testament, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ Pamela not only understands the words, but she in fact shows that by her actions,” he said. “She does love her neighbors as herself and does everything she can to help improve their situation.”

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
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