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 had been evicted. The camp abatement, beneath an nameless and industrial-feeling overpass very a lot out-of-the approach and sarcastically inside eyeshot of the silo at Deseret Industries’ “welfare sq.,” displaced properly over 100 folks.

Some folks left early out of self-preservation, however many weren’t ready or just refused. Dwelling on the road has price these working people and any who refused to be evicted their technique of survival – tents and heat bedding, work instruments and garments, and anything price holding on to from 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 cops in bullet-proof vests making time and half, the a number of dump vehicles making journeys backwards and forwards to the dump, the tow vehicles trailing automobiles and RVs to the already overcrowded impound tons from different sweeps, well being division and metropolis pickups roaming round. All of those sources we assign time 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 lots of of 1000’s certainly, to not point out the fundraisers that observe for impound and bail charges. The emotional trauma and fallout from dropping 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. For those who ask round sufficient, the sweeps would look like no one’s duty.

However the police are usually not funding themselves, they have a tendency to do what they’re instructed.

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

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

Jake Trimble, Salt Lake Metropolis

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