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Letter: Homelessness is a state-wide problem that needs to be addressed and funded at the state level

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Camp Last Hope, was built on abandoned railroad tracks, under the freeway for protection from the rain and the snow. Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

I share the frustration of city and county leaders who are struggling to find temporary overflow homeless shelters in Salt Lake County to serve the needs of the homeless this winter.

One thing the Tribune’s recent article on the subject failed to point out is that this emergency has been severely exacerbated by the state of Utah’s decision, in 2019, to close down the Road Home Shelter.

That was done, of course, because powerful people concluded that the property was becoming more and more valuable and thus needed to be “developed” so as to enrich fat cat developers — and that is exactly what has happened.

Homelessness is a state-wide problem that needs to be addressed and funded at the state level, and not by financially strapped cities and counties. It seems to me it is well past the time for new leadership in our Legislature if we want to keep our poorest citizens warm, safe and alive.

Thomas N. Thompson, Salt Lake City

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