When I was growing up, I learned when you admitted a mistake, it made things easier for all parties involved. Thus, this is a correction to my July 12 letter titled “Homeless Being Bullied” [City Weekly].
I apologize to the Unified Police Department in its entirety, because it is not the Unified Police causing the homeless the problems I described in that letter. It is just a few on the Salt Lake City Police Department who are making problems for all of us here.
As you may know, there are “nuisance” tickets being written in the area of the Rio Grande building that would make people’s hands cramp. I refer to the tickets for walking across “state-owned” property where the Rio Grande building is located and the parking lot beside the Rio Grande restaurant.
So, when the homeless walk across the parking lot, I am guessing that some of the patrons have complained or commented on this. Maybe some of the homeless have interrupted diners and asked for money. If this is what has happened, then I will apologize and ask those who have been bothered to be understanding, for some of these people honestly feel desperate about their situations.
The time most of these tickets are written is early morning because we leave the Road Home at 6:45 a.m. At 8 a.m., the mission comes down to the west side of the Rio Grande Building to serve hot coffee, donuts, oatmeal and hot dogs. They also have clothing days when they bring clothes for those in need. The police constantly complain we are “blocking” the sidewalk, but we are the only ones using it at this time of day.
What is the city getting out of this? The answer is “almost” slave labor, because we have to perform community service to offset the tickets.
And I would like to praise the ambulance people, the paramedics, as well as the Salt Lake City Fire Department, who come to assist the homeless in times of medical crisis, and this happens quite a bit. They have never complained, nor have they done anything but help.
Salt Lake City