Hits & Misses: Homelessness, Ruffled Feathers | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Hits & Misses

Hits & Misses: Homelessness, Ruffled Feathers

When it comes to sheltering the homeless, there's no simple solution that will please everyone.



Homeless Hubs
When it comes to sheltering the homeless, there's no simple solution. It's not like moving a bunch of hardened prisoners—or is it? Jay Evensen, Deseret News editorial columnist whose profile touts him as a writer on government, politics and human virtues, has bought into the lock-'em-up theory. The Legislature previously heard, and discarded, the central campus idea from Robert Marbut, a controversial consultant who, according to nextcity.org, would like to hide the homeless from public view. The push for smaller, spread-out resource centers stems from numerous studies estimating that there are 13,114 temporary homeless statewide. But Evensen likes the campus model where people are "strictly separated but with movable barriers to accommodate demand, and with services on hand to help with substance abuse and mental health treatment." Well, we already have a campus (for now) with The Road Home, and the barriers are beginning to be built. Just try to cross the street to The Gateway.


What's the Plan?
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski must be sighing in relief after her bumpy ride trying to relocate the homeless. The city is down to two homeless centers and now it's the county's turn. But both entities have curiously embraced a process that's less than transparent. Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams takes the criticism stoically and says there's still time. If development is keeping the process under wraps, then someone needs to rethink the problem. Placing single moms and their kids in a separate facility is brilliant, but you can't plop them in an unsuspecting community without everyone going ballistic. Portland has a different plan. A pilot project is putting tiny living pods in people's backyards, according to The Columbian. And guess what? They asked people to sign up and got 200 takers. Ask first. That's success.


Ruffling Feathers
Hooray for Holly Richardson, the blogger mom who now contributes to The Salt Lake Tribune. Richardson might still be a legislator had she not quit to run the failed U.S. Senate campaign of conservative Dan Liljenquist. When she tried to return to the Legislature, she lost in the GOP convention. Not conservative enough—which might speak to her latest editorial. She took on Don Peay, a Mormon from Provo who told the Utah County Republican women to repent and forgive Donald Trump. Richardson says no. She quotes LDS apostles, Mormon doctrine and the Bible on how to treat "the least among us." The Trib offers moderate Republicans a chance to speak out. But are there any moderate Republicans to listen?