Cover story, Sept. 19, "The Road Out"
It seems like it is getting much worse lately. It is tiring to pick up used needles frequently in and around Jefferson Park, watch groups of people openly smoke meth/crack/heroin/etc. in their glass pipes on city property used for Bees ballpark parking ...
All efforts just spread the problem out over the county. Many of us said this would happen. And now it appears to be harder for organizations to help also
Insightful. Thank you.
The current shelter, the one being shut down, held 1,100. On most nights last winter, it was over capacity. I know, I was there. The three new shelters put together hold only 700, and that figure is a hard figure, as the contracts for all of the new centers stipulate that they not exceed capacity. Does anybody else see the obvious math problem here?
Not only that, but there hasn't been any new supportive housing like Palmer Court opened since 2010. The majority of the homeless will be gone from downtown, maybe, so there are a few happy developers who will soon be much wealthier. Inevitably, however, parks and public places will have to play host to the growing surplus that cannot be housed. So three new centers were designed and built to house less people.
Are rents going down? No. Are there new facilities somewhere to house and treat the mentally ill? No. Have more inpatient addiction recovery programs opened up to ease the months-long waiting lists? No. Will people who can't get a job or an apartment because of past felonies somehow be able to get expungements to overcome that massive hurdle? No. Is the homeless population likely to decrease then, especially considering the fact that Utah is growing by around 58,000 people a year? Unlikely. This is simply a shelter shell game.
K. Marlo Yost
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