In July 2019, The Road Home homeless shelter in Salt Lake City will be shut down. In May of this year, the Legislative Auditor General issued a state audit on The Road Home, concluding that the lax rules regarding drug use and “low barrier to entry” needed to be changed, with safety and substance abuse at the top of the list of concerns.

With the closure of The Road Home, many homeless people will either have to go back to living on the road or be displaced to the other smaller homeless shelters. I believe this is potentially very harmful for those currently residing at The Road Home. The Fourth Street Clinic, about a five-minute walk from The Road Home, is a clinic specifically for the homeless population in that area. Once The Road Home closes and the population in that area is displaced, they will have to jump through even more hoops to seek medical attention if they choose to stay with a nonprofit clinic, especially one in such a close vicinity like The Fourth Street Clinic.

Are there plans to expand these nonprofit clinics, like The Fourth Street Clinic, to the other homeless shelters in the area? If so, will they also offer drug counseling programs that would address the Utah State Auditor General’s concern on drug abuse within the homeless population?

These are important questions. Without access to health care or options for rehabilitation, there may be no road to recovery.

Harrison Jendrusch, Salt Lake City