Letter: How are we addressing the needs of children experiencing homelessness?

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Workers clear a homeless encampment in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.

The plans for the Other Side Village present a developing approach to housing chronically homeless individuals, but offer little hope to the thousands of children who represent over a third of the population experiencing homelessness in Utah.

The needs of these children go beyond 243 square feet in literal measurement and scope. Often children lacking stable housing are also experiencing food insecurity, have untreated medical needs, and trauma. To date, shelters and schools have shouldered the burden of feeding, caring and connecting homeless children with resources, but can barely begin to address all their needs given the lack of funding and overwhelming demand for services. More than any other population, children need a community with on-site physical and mental health services, safe childcare and accessible education.

It is often said of raising children, “it takes a village”, but where is theirs?

Karen Richards, Bountiful

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