“I don’t have a lot of time left. But this is wonderful. I feel part of a family.”
That’s what 50-year-old Linda Liminieux, a former homeless woman with liver cancer, said Thursday at a news conference announcing that The INN Between, a hospice for the homeless with terminal illnesses, will be moving into a newer and larger facility at 1216 E. 1300 South in Salt Lake City.
“I feel like I’ve come home,” Liminieux said. “They are so open-hearted and caring.”
Liminieux currently lives at the original 16-bed INN Between at 340 S. Goshen St. that opened in August 2015. It will close in the coming months when residents will move to the new $3.5 million facility that will open with 25 beds. It eventually will be home to 46 residents, according to Kim Correa, the nonprofit’s executive director.
“Homelessness is a situation, not a condition. Regardless of what they have been in the past, they are a new individual to us,” Correa said. “We are working to end needless deaths on the street.”
The building currently functions as an assisted living center. The purchase was made possible, in part, by a $975,000 appropriation from the Utah Legislature. The funding legislation was sponsored by Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake and Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield.
“This is one of the biggest labors of love I’ve ever seen,” Escamilla said of Correa and her staff. “This is an opportunity to allow people to die with dignity.”
A hospice for the homeless is needed and fits in well with the state’s efforts to provide services for people without homes, Ray said.
“There is a lot more need out there than resources available,” he said. “Some of the [terminally ill] homeless are vets who have sacrificed for our country.”
Salt Lake County has been a key funding partner for the INN Between through community block grants. On Thursday, Mayor Ben McAdams said the nonprofit provides an important service.
“Some of these individuals have nothing,” he said of hospice residents. “But at the end, they do have something: love, compassion and dignity.”
The Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund also was instrumental in acquiring the new facility, Correa said.
The INN Between hopes to retire the debt on the remainder of the $3.5 million in the coming year. Correa noted that they are 44 percent of the way to that objective.
She asked the community to help meet the goal. Donations can be made by visiting www.tibhospice.org.