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Crossroads Urban Center emergency programs.

Emergency assistance from Crossroads Urban Center can help low income families that are faced with a crisis situation. Most of the aid from the non-profit is focused on basic needs, and that includes free food from the Luisa E. Lema pantry, clothing, and information on housing. The center will also provide help around the holidays and other forms of support to income qualified families.

The basic needs are for people that are struggling within the community, regardless of their religion or age. In addition, Crossroads may be able to provide emergency services, such as referrals to financial aid, and they encourage the sponsorship and development of community advocacy projects that focus on equality for all, and it is all done in the name of eradicating poverty.

The Utah Poverty Partnership (UPP) enables all groups and non-profits to work together to reduce poverty within the Salt Lake region. With the common goal and interest of fighting poverty and ending the cycle, it allows for groups to better coordinate their various assistance programs.

They also partner with other organization and charities serving the community such as Utahns Against Hunger, the Wasatch Community Gardens, and J.E.D.I. for Women. These all work together with Crossroads Urban Center.

Crossroads will support and operate advocacy projects that directly target the low income in the community on issues such as health care, homelessness, food and access to resources. This may come in the form of grants for rent or affordable housing, providing dental and vision care for those enrolled in Medicaid, lowering utility rates based on individual circumstances, and providing SNAP food stamp benefits to eligible candidates in Salt Lake.

By working directly with low-income clients as well as at risk and disabled people, Crossroads’ mission is to advocate for them and provide information back to government officials on local, state and federal levels. As part of this process, they can offer referrals to private and government resources.

The holidays should not be limited to just the well off, and the goal at Crossroads is to ensure that people from all backgrounds have assistance at Christmas or Thanksgiving. This may range from such things as a special meal during the holiday season or children get a small toy. Hundreds of Salt Lake County families get a free Thanksgiving or Christmas meal each year. Donations and assistance from within the community including those from local businesses, faith based communities, groups or private citizens are always welcome during the holidays as well.




The Luisa E. Lema Emergency Food Pantry is a large service available for the working poor. In fact, it is one of the busiest food pantries in the state of Utah. Emergency boxes of groceries are prepped and provided for low-income, struggling families and individuals.

While the content will vary, examples of what can be included in the boxes are items such as gas or prescription vouchers, canned goods, perishable food, 1 day bus passes, baby supplies, and limited emergency funds. The Crossroads pantry helps thousands of people on a monthly basis.

In addition to providing the emergency food boxes to thousands of seniors, families and other individuals, the free pantry provides many other services to those in need. This may be loans for paying back rent to stop evictions, free diapers, funding for utilities, gas and information on grant programs. They may even have bus tokens for employment reasons, such as an interview.

All of their resources are made possible through the dedication of volunteers and staff from Crossroads. There is also support from those in the community who donate food, time and money to the fight against poverty in the community.

The low cost Thrift Store run by Crossroads has inventory of hundreds of items, such as household goods or clothing, and this is passed out at little to no cost to those low-income, struggling individuals and families living in the community. There can be free seasonal goods available as well, such as school supplies or holiday gifts.

There are a couple different sites of Crossroads Urban Center. They include the following.

  • Food pantry is at 347 South 400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, main phone 801-364-7765
  • Thrift Store is at 1385 West Indiana Avenue (850 South), Salt Lake City, Utah. Call 801-359-8837.




By Jon McNamara

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