Latest abatement shows Salt Lake City is plagued by bad homeless policy


(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Salt Lake Metropolis Police take part within the abatement of Fort Pioneer, on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.

Just lately I used to be witness to a different instance of Salt Lake Metropolis’s failed homeless coverage because the residents of Fort Pioneer have been evicted. The camp abatement, below an nameless and industrial-feeling overpass very a lot out-of-the approach and satirically inside eyeshot of the silo at Deseret Industries’ “welfare sq.,” displaced effectively over 100 individuals.

Some individuals left early out of self-preservation, however many weren’t in a position or just refused. Residing on the road has price these working folks and any who refused to be evicted their technique of survival – tents and heat bedding, work instruments and garments, and the rest price holding on to from very important medicines to members of the family’ ashes, even the identification wanted to entry future providers.

And what’s the price to the taxpayers of this abuse of energy? We’ll by no means know the true price of the numerous law enforcement officials in bullet-proof vests making time and half, the a number of dump vans making journeys backwards and forwards to the dump, the tow vans trailing vehicles and RVs to the already overcrowded impound tons from different sweeps, well being division and metropolis pickups roaming round. All of those assets we assign again and again to repeatedly upend the lives of some stray people after which do it once more subsequent week. The greenback price for every operation is measured in a whole lot of 1000’s absolutely, to not point out the fundraisers that comply with for impound and bail charges. The emotional trauma and fallout from shedding your property and having nothing is even tougher to measure, not to mention overcome.

Mayor Mendenhall blames different cities within the valley for kicking the homeless down the highway. Different metropolis mayors within the valley blame the state Legislature or the well being division for the abatements. If you happen to ask round sufficient, the sweeps would seem like no one’s accountability.

However the police are usually not funding themselves, they have an inclination to do what they’re informed.

Though no one with the required energy was keen to cease this specific abatement (regardless of solely 4 shelter beds out there that day), the latest sweep has been however one in all many, and it’ll absolutely not be the final. The evicted individuals are doubtless tenting in one other nameless spot; I hope their sleep goes uninterrupted.

Reasonably than persevering with to spend tax cash on police-driven well being abatements, why don’t we simply present the lacking providers corresponding to bogs and showers, rubbish removing, warming tents and blankets?

Jake Trimble, Salt Lake Metropolis

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