Cesar Hernandez, News Writer

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            Salt Lake City’s homeless population has become stagnant, even with all the shelters or operations. With more shelters being built,, more questions arise,, like how will the homeless get there, will they even want to stay in that area?  

            Some believe that the operation that was supposed to help the Rio Grande area in SLC, named Operation Rio Grande, didn’t leave an impact since its start in 2017. The plan was supposed to be a three phase plan Including.

  1.       Improve public safety and order by reducing the crime rate.
  2.       Support people struggling with mental illness and drug addiction so they can return to a path of self-reliance.
  3.       Prepare and connect individual’s income that supports housing.

Although there have been many homeless arrests, some are for minor offences and now have warrants. “Being homeless is not a crime, yet thousands of individuals living in or frequenting the Rio Grande neighborhood were detained, jailed and released with no additional help and the added burden of warrants, fines and a criminal record,” the ACLU wrote back in October of 2018.

Everyone thinks that the homeless are the scum of the earth, complete degenerates. But, that’s not the case. Some of them are just people who ran with the wrong crowd or had accident after accident that left them to be homeless. Now don’t get me wrong, there are bad people who are too detached from reality and only care about when they can get high again and will torment you or others. They are humans like you and me and deserve basic human rights.

So when the police are making all these arrests and not actually dealing with the problem and are only dispersing the homeless into the surrounding neighborhoods, then the problem is still there, just less noticeable.

Now how about solving the problem? Right now Utah is closing its main shelter and is renovating three others across the city to help sustain the homeless population. But, even that won’t help fix this problem. Some of the homeless population are the way they are because they don’t want to work. Having more shelters isn’t going to help them with their mental health issues. There are just a few buildings in this city that actually help with that. “The Volunteers of America” just to name one. We have to remember that these are actual people, with real human problems, and deserve normal human rights.