The mission of The INN Between is to end the tragic history of vulnerable people dying on the streets of our community by providing a supportive and safe haven for people who have nowhere to go during a medical crisis. Prior to The INN Between, no adequate solution existed for housing terminally ill and medically frail homeless people, resulting in an average of 50 deaths on Salt Lake area streets annually. We adhere to the hospice philosophy of providing care for the sick, especially the terminally ill, and treating the whole person by providing support for his or her emotional, social, and spiritual needs, not simply the medical symptoms. The INN Between is not a licensed hospice or medical provider–our home is the critical missing link for individuals who don't have access to hospice or medical care simply because they lack housing.
The medical community is focused on the Social Determinants of Health, which center on safe housing, basic needs, and access to healthcare as the foundation for overall population health. The INN Between ensures that individuals experiencing homelessness have access to safe housing, basic needs, and critical healthcare so that no individuals are left to suffer or die on the streets of our community.
As the only medical respite provider for people experiencing homelessness in the greater Salt Lake area, The INN Between plays an important role in our community, especially during this time of transition from a large main downtown shelter to three smaller scattered site shelters. We collaborate with other homeless service agencies to ensure that vulnerable individuals are safely and appropriately placed.
What We Do
This short video highlights the work we do:
The cornerstone of our program is in providing the stable home that allows adults experiencing homelessness to experience the end of life with dignity, recuperate from illness, and/or receive life-saving medical treatment. For example, hospice care is a service that is delivered in the home–it cannot be delivered in shelters or on the streets.Cancer is another example, and typically doctors require that patients be stably housed before they can initiate cancer treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery).
The INN Between is licensed and zoned for 50-beds, comprised of:
- 25 Assisted Living Facility Type II beds–for adults who need assistance performing their activities of daily living, which include bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, toileting, and taking medication.
- 25 Eleemosynary Facility beds–for adults who are capable of performing their own activities of daily living.
Clients are referred to The INN Between from hospitals, medical clinics, Volunteers of America, the Salt Lake City Police Department, Unified Police Department, The Road Home, churches, and other homeless service agencies. We do not turn anyone away for inability to pay. Once in our care, clients receive:
- all basic needs;
- transportation to medical appointments;
- intensive case management to connect with mainstream benefits such as Medicaid and Disability Income;
- substance use recovery support with daily transportation to Methadone clinics;
- activities to promote wellness, positive interaction with others and the community, and self-sufficiency.
Proper nutrition is the foundation for health, and we partner with the Utah Food Bank and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Bishop's Storehouse to provide healthy meals and snacks and to accommodate special dietary restrictions.
With our Assisted Living Facility Type II license, The INN Between can address a previous gap by serving the most vulnerable homeless individuals - those who need assistance performing their activities of daily living (eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, taking medication).
Our primary focus is providing dignity at the end-of-life. The INN Between is not a hospice provider, but rather a temporary housing solution that gives homeless individuals access to professional hospice care, since hospice care is a home-based medical service that cannot be delivered on the streets or in shelters. All hospice care at The INN Between is provided by licensed agencies. In general, hospice care includes home nurse and doctor visits, medications to control pain and anxiety, home medical equipment, and comprehensive emotional, social, and spiritual support. On average, one-third of our residents are struggling with a terminal illness. Intermountain Healthcare generously partners with The INN Between to provide charity hospice care to our uninsured residents.
The INN Between supplements professional hospice care with our own certified Death Doula, Matilda Lindgren, who gives individualized support to help our clients prepare for the end of life–critical because many of our clients lack a family support safety net. We try to reconnect clients with estranged family members so they can make amends and open the door for forgiveness before it’s too late. We have a team of 11th Hour volunteers who sit vigil so that no one dies alone. After a death, we post an obituary on our website, place a name plaque in our Memorial Garden, and hold a community memorial service.
Medical respite is a stabilization service that provides short-term stays to individuals who are too ill to be on the streets or in shelters, but who are not ill enough to be in the hospital. During their stay, medical respite clients receive transportation to medical appointments and intensive case management to connect them with mainstream benefits, employment, and community-based housing. Typical medical respite diagnoses include:
- post-hospitalization sub-acute care;
- lung disease requiring Oxygen (which can’t be delivered to or safely stored at shelters, motels, or campsites);
- Insulin dependent diabetes (which can't be managed in shelters due to the need for refrigerated storage of Insulin with 24/7 access, safe disposal of syringes, and frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels);
- cancer (which requires stable housing before doctors can initiate treatment);
- wounds (that require a 24/7 clean environment to prevent further infection that could lead to amputation or death);
- colostomy/ileostomy (which require medical supplies, 24/7 access to clean restrooms, and safe disposal of waste bags);
- intravenous antibiotic treatment (which often requires medical oversight over weeks or months of treatment).
The INN Between provides a limited number of long-term placement beds for individuals who are not suitable for community-based housing due to their medical acuity; however, they lack the resources to afford traditional Assisted Living. The INN Between is the only charitable Assisted Living Facility solution available for people experiencing homelessness (note that our health insurance system does not pay for Assisted Living Facility stays).
Awards and Recognition
- 2017, KUED Channel 7 created Homeless at the End, a one-hour documentary about The INN Between and the realities of facing death on the streets. It can be viewed on https://www.kued.org/video/homeless-the-end.
- 2018, Utah Housing Matters, Agency of the Year Award
- 2017, Women Educators, Organization Activism Award
- 2016, Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Community Organization Award
- 2016, Utah Housing Coalition, Agency of the Year Award
- 2015-16, Utah Chapter of the Society of Social Work Leadership in Health Care, Agency of the Year Award
The INN Between opened on August 17, 2015 as a 16-bed pilot project in the former Roman Catholic Convent on Goshen Street, Salt Lake City. Demand quickly exceeded our capacity, and our board began exploring options for expansion. In late 2017, we encountered a nursing home that was going to be going up for sale. Having been recently remodeled, and large enough to meet our future capacity needs, we mounted a campaign to purchase the facility. This came to fruition in April 2018, and we moved into our new home in June 2018.
Please Support Our Work
We rely on the generosity of individuals, companies and foundations to operate. Please consider making a one-time gift or becoming a Sustaining Member. Donate online now.
As a small nonprofit, we also rely on volunteers to keep our home running, provide companionship to our residents, and help with special events. Learn more about our Volunteer Program.
The INN Between
1216 E 1300 S
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105