VOA Youth Resource Center
Salt Lake City     
Award of Merit

Owner: Volunteers of America, Utah
Lead Design Firm: MHTN Architects
General Contractor: R&O Construction
Civil Engineer: Great Basin Engineering
Structural Engineer: BHB Engineers
MEP Engineer: Gunthers Comfort Air
Electrical Engineer: BNA Consulting
Owner’s Representative: Internet Properties
Subcontractors: B&B Specialties; Beacon Metals; Boman & Kemp; Cornerstone Concrete; Redd Roofing Co.; Reliable Plumbing; Scotvale Electrical Systems Inc.

Years of community effort went into creating the new Volunteers of America Youth Resource Center, which provides a safe and healing environment for Utah’s homeless youth. The design of the project balances openness with safety and privacy. A large courtyard is carved out of the north side of the building, providing natural light into the interior spaces. The courtyard functions for private conversations and activities and offers an important connection to the natural world.

The result is a positive, energetic and bustling space with well-organized activities. In addition to serving homeless youth, the building creates an anchor for urban development in Salt Lake City’s Granary and Central Ninth districts. The center is within walking distance of public transit and located near many community partners. The center is founded on ideas of choice, dignity and acceptance. In the words of a homeless young person: “When the community sees the new VOA Youth Center, I want them to think that it is life changing and productive in helping youth take the next step to a better life.”

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