Utah Homelessness

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Utah Homelessness

Alyssa Sainsbury

Alyssa Sainsbury

Alyssa Sainsbury

Alyssa Sainsbury, News staff writer

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Kearns- homelessness has always been an issue. Maybe it’s because it’s the lack of affordable housing, poverty, mental illness or maybe even substance abuse. But one thing is for sure, homelessness is difficult and living in Utah.

with all the harsh winters makes it even more challenging. As most of us know, The Road Home is on track to shut down because of their capacity limit and the expectation of more to come. It has been the leading homeless shelter in Utah for years hosting over 8,000 people. Even though it is set to close, the closing date was pushed back because of the three new shelters that opened in June and one is on pace to open this month. One is for men (3380 South, 100 West) , one is for females (131 East, 700 South) and the other one is for male/female couples (242 W. Paramount Ave.).

Our community has worked diligently to create safe facilities for adults who are homeless. However, youth homelessness is on the rise and those concerns are not being addressed. The reasoning for teen homelessness may differ from adult homelessness but both need to be dealt with somehow. The cougar Claw interviewed an employee of Granite School District who deals with correlating gang prevention and student placement, and she had this to say about somewhere youth and teens can go to get off the street and back on their feet.

“The homeless youth resource center is downtown, they have showering services there, sometimes they have hygiene things that they can take with them, they could take a nap there and just be there if they need a safe place to stay.”

It’s important to make sure we bite teen homelessness in the butt, because by not addressing the issue now it could cause a pattern of behavior and lead to an increase of homelessness and/or no improvement at all.  Because of these shelters being a resource for anyone who chooses to use them, people are getting off the streets and into a stable life of their own.  A way to help those in need is to volunteer at your nearest shelter, they are always looking for people to help for all situations.

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