Pamela Atkinson Homeless Fund draws praise from governor


Cassidy Hansen

Capital West News

SALT LAKE CITY—Pamela Atkinson took Governor Herbert on a tour of the Volunteers of America Adult Detoxification Center and reviewed how to donate to the Homeless Trust Fund named in her honor this tax season.
The Volunteers of America Adult Detoxification Center is one of the several organizations that receive funding from the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Funds. This specific center focuses on helping homeless individuals who are sick or  intoxicated and are pursuing sobriety.
“I am really honored to have this trust fund in my name. You know when it first happened, I kept on checking my pulse just to make sure I was still living. You don’t usually get things named after you when you are alive, it’s when you are dead. I’m very much alive actually, so it has been an honor,” said Pamela Atkinson.

Aerial View of part of the Jordan River Valley  Source: Wikimedia Commons
Aerial View of part of the Jordan River Valley
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Atkinson’s love for homeless families and individuals is evident as she speaks of our “homeless friends.” Throughout the facility tour she chatted with these friends or held small children. The mother of the children is saving to afford an apartment with her husband, who was working during the tour.
“Pamela is Utah’s Mother Teresa. She loves everybody, it doesn’t matter who or the circumstances. So all of us should take a page out of Pamela Atkinson’s book, and love each other, and care for each other,” said Governor Herbert.

The governor thanked the staff at the facility for their kindness and patience. He also socialized with center clients and learned about their stories.

Anthony, who was completing his last day of college, is in the process of becoming a pharmacy technician. . Through one of the programs offered at the Detoxification Center, Anthony has been able to attend college.Without the support of the center to overcome his alcoholism, he would not have had these opportunities or support.

“One of the most exciting times in life is when I’m walking down State or Main Street to a luncheon and I get hailed by somebody,” said Atkinson. “He is a person who is formerly homeless, and now he is in a home with family and is part of society because of people like you and others who cared to make sure that we stepped up to the plate and made a difference.”

“I appreciate that Utahns have concern for the homeless,” said Governor Herbert. “There are 1,300 people in the state who are homeless and it’s not just a Salt Lake Valley, or a Salt Lake County issue. Throughout the state we have homelessness, in all of our 29 counties.”

To help these types of programs, citizens can donate to the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund on their Utah Individual Income Tax Form TC-40. Atkinson has asked that everyone donate at least two dollars to help our homeless friends. All donations remain in Utah and are used to advance Utah’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.

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