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KSL, May 20, SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A hospice for the homeless in Salt Lake City is one of several long-term care facilities facing critical challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite those challenges, The INN Between on Wednesday broke ground on a memorial garden that is an important part of their mission, although no residents have caught COVID-19. 

t’s a memorial for those who otherwise might be forgotten.

The Inn Between is a hospice for the homeless. Soon, an area on the corner of the property near 1300 South and 1300 East will be transformed into a memorial garden for those who have passed away, to make sure they are always remembered.

“It’s a place we can go to think about the positive things that a memorial garden really facilitates,” said Cecily Davis, the mother of the Inn Between’s first resident. “More of a concentration on the things that are positive rather than dwelling on the things that were hurtful.”

Olivia Davis spent her last chapter in life at the Inn Between five years ago. Her mother, Cecily, said Olivia was staying at the homeless shelter when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Olivia had been going through a really difficult time,“ she said. “She was just getting sicker and sicker.”

Cecily Davis holds a plaque remembering her daughter Olivia, who was the Inn Between’s first patient five years ago.

Her daughter spent her last days at the Inn Between, which was comforting to her and her family.

“A chance to be in a safe place and have greater dignity and more support at a time when she still thought, ‘I’m going to beat this mom,’” said Davis.

The INN Between is a place where sick people can go if they have nowhere else to stay.

“A place where they can receive 24/7 caregiver support and access to hospice care, which is not available on the streets, or in shelters or motels,” said Kim Correa, executive director of the Inn Between.

Wednesday morning, Bryson and Jan Garbett of Garbett Homes helped break ground on the memorial garden, a charitable project they spearheaded.

One of the cornerstones at the Inn Between is to memorialize their residents. They prepare an obituary and post it on the website.

“We hold a memorial service and we also put a name plaque in our memorial garden so that they’re memorialized forever somewhere, knowing that they really probably don’t have the resources to have any other type of memorial,” said Correa.

The new garden will have space for hundreds of memorial plaques, including those for the 75 people they have already helped through the end-of-life process.

COVID-19 has had a big impact on the facility. But so far, they’ve kept the virus out.

“It’s hard on everybody,“ said Correa. “Very early in the process, we went on a total lockdown. So, we weren’t allowing visitors. We weren’t allowing our residents to leave.”

Some clients left because of the restrictions. There were 27 residents in the facility Wednesday, down from about 40 residents before the pandemic.

“Our clients are very grateful that we’re taking these extreme precautions because they know they’re safe, and we haven’t had any COVID-19 in our facility so far,” said Correa.

The Inn Between was not taking any new residents without a 14-day quarantine as of Wednesday. Those already there were eating meals in their rooms, wearing masks and avoiding personal contact.

“Our frontline staff is working really, really hard to make sure our clients are fed, they have the 24/7 care that they need. It’s been an extreme challenge,” Correa said.

The Inn Between gets all of its funding from community and government grants and generous donations.

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