Solving the problems at Pioneer Park

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  • JWilkes Murray, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    As a formerly homeless person working with Sgt. Ross's HOST program, I have seen some business owners and residents approach her to learn more, in hopes of being part of the solution. If more people in the neighborhood offered solutions and were willing to help, rather than simply complaining or being fearful, I think we would start solving problems. Most of the people you see in the park are just that-people like you and I that need our help to overcome their misfortune.

    Reach out to your neighbor on the street. Donate goods, services, and time. Smile and ask, "What can we do to help you?" A little compassion will go far to help our community's families and individuals who are experiencing homelesseness.

  • JWilkes Murray, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    While working with Sgt. Ross's HOST program, I have seen a few business owners and residences speak with her about their concerns, hopefully in hopes of finding mutual solutions. If more people in the neighborhood sought answers rather than simply complaining, I think we would help many more of the people who frequent the park, and its surrounding residents.

    Long before there was ever a shelter or a clinic in the neighborhood, it was a known area for drug trafficking. Blaming homeless people for this problem is a desperate blanket solution. As a formerly homeless person, I can attest that other homeless people are not the sole purchasers of drugs in this area. Patrons from nearby clubs, businesses, and residences are also to blame for creating demand.

    Show a little compassion and propose solutions. work with the programs and agencies that are trying to help homeless people. Donate goods, services and time. Reach out you hand to your fellow man. Smile and say, "Hello. Is there anything I can do to help you?" A little compassion can go a long way.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    It is a human problem that all cities have with indigent people. However, some cities are much more accomodating welcoming and tolerant of such people. Therefore I suggest that when winter hits, and it gets really cold, offer free bus trips to sunny Southern California and in particular, Santa Monica, where I used to live myself. They have plenty of free food, shelter ect. and great weather year round. No need for bundles of winter clothing. Once there, I doubt many would return as the very progressive attitude of Santa Monica along with lots of money and programs would be a safe haven for the homeless. Cynical yes, but I'm serious. Move them to where they will be more accepted and taken care of, and let's clean up the mess in Pioneer Park and make it safe for all. A win win.

  • perfidemintrepidus Riverton, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 6:14 p.m.

    P.S. I believe that SLC is notoriously recognized as "hobo haven" for the wonderful provisions available to people. I don't know if we need to do anything differently, but maybe make people more aware of what they can do to better their situation. Homelessness is a tragic subject and I discuss it sensitively, but anything that requires more money involvement would not make much of a difference if certain individuals do not take the initiative to utilize the resources available.

  • perfidemintrepidus Riverton, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 5:56 p.m.

    Perhaps I did not read this article very well because I fail to see what steps are suggested to implement in order to reduce permanent homeless activity in SLC. I work downtown and observe the issue on a first-hand basis with the thoughts of wanting to assist individuals that are truly in need, but feeling that it is often better to "teach someone how to fish" than just "giving the person a fish" with an expectation of improved results. I tend to offer satisfaction of physical needs (i.e. offering leftover food from lunch if asked for money) instead of just giving them money with no knowledge of its use. Perhaps I will also advise them of how to register for unemployment assistance or the nearest located rehabilitation center. I make this a responsibility to know, but wished it was more commonly understood so that we can identify those that are struggling and present their options to them.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    Re: " The junkies need to be rounded up and rehabilitated."

    Just so's you know -- we've already tried that. ant times. Two weeks later, they're back in the park.

    It's not that conservatives are averse to spending money. We just hate to flush it down the liberal toilet du jour.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    The park is not the problem. And if you just crack down in the park... the problem will just go somewhere else (other street corners, other neighborhoods, etc). We have to deal with the problem. And no... money is not the problem.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    Irony Guy,
    With you the solution to EVERYTHING is... more money.

    Money doesn't solve all problems.

    Even if you throw more money at rehabilitating everybody in Pioneer Park... you could spend infinite money on it and not change anything until the person WANTS to be rehabilitated.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    The situation has driven good businesses out of the area. It's past time to get tough and tender at the same time. The junkies need to be rounded up and rehabilitated. Of course, that would require spending money on rehabilitation services, which conservatives would never countenance. All they're interested in is jails.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    Re: "The challenge facing Salt Lake City government is to avoid falling into a state of resignation and accepting the situation as permanent."

    Too late. That occurred 30 years ago.

    Gutless liberal administrations will never find a way to do what's necessary to resolve the problem and return the real people of Salt Lake that pay so dearly for its upkeep.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    Well said Midvaliean. Addressing the problem with a bandaid won't fix anything. Get at the root of the problem. The churches and the social services and the families in the area need to step up and think outside the box. All of the typical solutions for this type of problem sound like Chicago and Detroit's approaches from 30 years ago. They didn't work so well then and they won't work so well now.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    Pioneer Park has always been where you go to get heroin and cocaine (since I was a kid at least). If you move them out of the park they disperse into the streets. There is a homeless shelter next door.
    Problem many of us have is I don't want to waste tax-payer money to arrest all these folks, many who have mental illness it would seem, and house them in jail.
    Maybe its time to think outside of the box.