SALT LAKE CITY — As Jeremy Hafen, dressed in a troublesome hat and a yellow vest over his swimsuit, toured the dusty building web site the place his corporate used to be prepping the bottom for a 200-bed girls’s homeless resource middle, a idea struck him.
While his building staff used to be actually laying the root for the refuge, they had been additionally serving to lay the root for one thing better.
“We’re seeing the foundation here, but there’s a tie to the foundation of building something better for this community,” mentioned the president and CEO of the development corporate Sunroc Corp., a subcontractor at the 131 E. 700 South refuge web site. “It will help people change their lives.”
“It’s just starting from the ground up,” he added. “And the fact that we’re the ones that are building the foundation for this … it’s pretty amazing.”
Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, who joined Hafen his stroll of the web site Thursday, additionally mirrored at the years of paintings and combat that preceded the groundbreaking of the 3 homeless resource centers which are anticipated to exchange the downtown homeless refuge subsequent summer time and subsequently turn into the county’s homeless device.
“They’re finishing laying the foundation right now, after we spent the last several years laying the foundation of the services and the new model,” McAdams mentioned. “I guess I get chills thinking about the lives that will be blessed by what’s happening right here.”
Hafen used to be now not most effective serving to transfer earth to lay the bodily basis of the construction, McAdams mentioned, however serving to in a fair larger manner.
Hafen had lately determined to donate $25,000 of Sunroc Corp. money to Shelter the Homeless, the long run homeless resource centers’ proprietor, to lend a hand fund the operations of the shelters once they open their doorways July 1, 2019.
Hafen’s donation might be matched by way of Utah Jazz proprietor Gail Miller’s pledge to double all group donations up to $10 million, bringing the donation to $50,000.
Preston Cochrane, govt director of Shelter the Homeless, mentioned his group is thankful to Hafen and “all of our generous donors for their commitment to help reduce homelessness in our communities and improve the lives of those in need.”
Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Hafen’s pledge comes at a time when state, town and county leaders have urged group individuals to donate to lend a hand fund systems and products and services throughout the 3 shelters. The hope is that donations will ultimately fit Miller’s $10 million most.
Hafen mentioned he hopes to inspire different group individuals to do the similar.
“As a matter of fact,” Hafen mentioned. “I’m going to reach out to some people that I know in the business community and see if we can ask them to also contribute.”
Hafen’s corporate — which received a bid to do excavation paintings for the 131 E. 700 South girls’s homeless resource middle — is doing the paintings for Shelter the Homeless “basically at cost,” Hafen mentioned, noting that any income from the paintings might be “slim.”
“We’re talking single-digit thousands,” Hafen mentioned. “The donation we’re making is far up and above any profit we make coming out of this job.”
Hafen mentioned from time to time businessmen focal point most effective on “the all-mighty profit” and “start to lose sight” of what it method to give again. To him, “it’s all about being a balanced contributor to society,” he mentioned.
“You have to do it,” he mentioned. “You have to give again. It’s how the sector works, you realize?
Courtesy of Jeremy Hafen, Deseret News
But additionally, Hafen has some historical past — relationship again greater than 20 years — with McAdams, and he mentioned the mayor “was extremely influential” to his determination to make the donation.
Hafen and McAdams had been partners all the way through their LDS venture to Sao Paulo, Brazil, within the 1990s.
Hafen shocked McAdams on Thursday when he pulled out an envelope with a number of pictures from that venture, and the 2 males joked in combination as they reminisced about their time in Brazil.
“Look how skinny that guy was,” McAdams mentioned, giggling, as he held an image of himself. In the 1995 photograph, Hafen poses aspect by way of aspect with McAdams all the way through a provider challenge the place they dug out “2 feet of weeds,” as Hafen described it.
McAdams and Hafen re-created that photograph whilst on the building web site, posing in entrance of a backhoe.
While mulling the donation, Hafen mentioned he idea to himself, “‘I need to call Ben,” as a result of “Ben has led out on homelessness.”
“Well, that was your first mistake, calling me,” McAdams joked.
Hafen shook his head, giggling, however mentioned on a extra severe word that McAdams used to be “influential in my life 23 years ago, and now, 23 years forward, I look at him as a mentor, in a sense.”
Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Hafen mentioned he is a registered Republican, and but he is backing McAdams, a Democrat, in his bid to united states of america Rep. Mia Love on this yr’s 4th Congressional District race as a result of he mentioned he believes in McAdams’ efforts to exchange the county’s homeless type.
McAdams mentioned he wasn’t shocked by way of Hafen’s donation as a result of he mentioned he is at all times recognized him to be “generous and kind,” however McAdams mentioned he used to be “very appreciative and humbled” by way of his donation.
“We live in a community that is very generous with time and very generous with money, and (Hafer’s donation) just came at a critical time as we’re underway on these facilities,” McAdams mentioned. “We know we’ve got a lot of work to make sure we’ve got the funding we need to provide these services we’re hoping to provide in this new model, and we’re hoping the community will step forward.”