Letter: Build more shelters, enforce the camping ban and start arresting people

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Boarded up properties in Salt Lake City's Ballpark neighborhood are shown in 2019.

Mayor Mendenhall:

I have been a resident of Salt Lake City’s Ballpark area for a year now. As a lifelong Salt Lake City resident I knew the reputation of the area before I chose to move. This has been an area with a homeless and crime problem for a while. One of the reasons I decided to move (other than the skyrocketing costs of housing in Salt Lake City) was that you ran partially on a platform of fixing this issue.

After one year not only has it not gotten better, it’s gotten much worse. I take a walk five days a week at lunch as I work from home. Since summer began, I have seen: Used needles in the street, people shooting drugs in broad daylight in a parking lot next to a school, broken crack pipes, unbroken crack pipes, fist fights in the middle of the street (also in broad daylight), overdoses and on and on and on.

I have also been threatened twice and offered drugs more times than I can count, all within five blocks of my house.

I pay taxes to this city and I have for 25-plus years, just like folks who live in Sugar House or Sandy or Cottonwood Heights. I know I’m not the only resident of this area who feels abandoned by the mayor and City Council on this issue. Police activity is virtually nonexistent and when they do come they rarely make arrests.

This needs to stop. Build more shelters, enforce the camping ban and start arresting people every single time. I’m a compassionate person but I am also extremely fed up. I write this letter to The Tribune as all of my emails to your office have been ignored.

Bif Goodrich, Salt Lake City

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