Closing the Road Home while providing fewer beds in the combined new shelters when more people are homeless means we’ll have way more deaths this winter.
When the Road Home was built, it was purposely located near public transportation, mental health services at the Valley Store Front, employment offices and schools, and the Fourth Street Clinic quickly followed to provide medical services. St. Vinnie’s Kitchen was also nearby so people could eat.
Many public meetings were held before anything was built. I know because I was The Salt Lake Tribune reporter covering social justice issues. I followed it every step of the way.
No, it wasn’t perfect. Nothing ever is. Yes, the idea of providing all services in each new shelter is great.
But they’re not easily reached by TRAX or buses. So, how will people get to work? And what happens when the new shelters don’t have enough beds?
I love the idea of preparing people to move out into the world of work and homes. But they’ll have one hell of a time doing it when they’re so isolated from jobs and transportation. Please try to imagine yourself without a job, or a car, or a way to get your children to school and make some changes.
Carol A. Sisco, Salt Lake City