106 have jobs, but leaders hope many will take advantage of Operation Rio Grande's work program

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  • calu Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2018 9:59 a.m.

    The drug I hear as being most prevalent among the homeless downtown is SPICE. Although I have never done it I have seen what it does to a person. They say it is harmless? First of all the person smoking it gets high. His speech is slurred and mumbled, his gait is off and he seems to have a hard time focusing both visually and mentally, it kills a persons motivation just like other drugs. the long term effects are not known. (One joint can get several people high) How can he get a job? Clean up the spice!!! Make the penalties for spice using and selling tougher!

  • someguyaaron Parowan, UT
    Aug. 17, 2018 3:23 p.m.

    After reading the different responses on this story I felt like adding to it.
    The things that D N Subscriber cotton wood Heights said, I agree 100%. I am so glad to see those that will work, get work. I hope those who need mental help will get it.
    What I would like to see is a story about all of the homeless who are out there and where they are going and what they are doing.
    The reason I would like to know is because, just like the rest of us, they have Rights. Most homeless do not want to go through a metal detector and to be searched and their bags being searched. They want to come and go as they like. They want to be able to do what they want when they want. To drink or do drugs or not.
    I believe that if the majority were given their choice they would hang together and do what they want. If those who are in charge would look and asked the homeless honestly, most want to panhandle and be on their own. Don’t you think that the people who are pushing the homeless shelters are going to be embarrassed when they are built and the majority are still outside.
    If you build it they will come! Only works in the movies!

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2018 2:53 p.m.

    @DN Subscriber - "If a person is willing to work, they can have a job within a few days."

    This is simply not true. While I applaud that 104 people have gotten jobs, that is only an extremely tiny fraction. Over 1000 people were arrested the first few days of Operation Rio Grande and thousands since ... only 104 have jobs after a full year!

    The truth is, very very few employers are willing to hire someone who is homeless; even when a homeless person is fully willing to work. Employers look down on anyone who has ever been arrested for starters; employers look down on anyone who doesn't have a mailing address and a telephone number, employers look down on anyone who doesn't have their own transportation, and employers really look down on anyone who has a mental disability (rather than a physical one).

    The truth is that 104 jobs is only a start in the right direction; but it most certainly doesn't represent the fact that homeless persons are not able to get jobs. Not to mention the article doesn't say how much they are paid; a recent article said that $24/hour is a "living wage" in SLC. I would be willing to bet these homeless aren't even paid enough to even rent a bedroom.

  • 1conservative Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2018 11:28 a.m.

    I will make two points:

    1. since they chased the homeless from Rio Grande, at least some of the homeless have taken over the Jordan River trail system effectively eliminating its use by taxpaying citizens who don't dare walk the trail anymore.

    2. the $60 million they have spent for the new homeless accomodations would have gone a long way towards affordable housing for people who make up our working poor citizens.

    I guess since they are actually working, they can just take their chances with ridiculously high rents!

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2018 9:45 a.m.

    Before we go throwing "high fives" all around, I hope Utah TAXPAYERS realize that their state/local leaders have just institutionalized homelessness.

    EVERY Utah taxpayer ( at least the rational ones) likes to help people when they are down and out. But, there are those who temporarily "down on their luck", and there are those who won't work no matter what we offer.
    I don't see the cities doing much at all about those folks.

    Do local leaders NOT realize that SLC will soon be flooded with homeless from the whole intermountain west when they learn (soon)of our generosity?

    So far, to my knowledge, state and local "leaders" (I use the term loosely)have thrown +60 million of OUR tax dollars at the homeless situation.

    Do taxpayers realize just how much more they're going to need to spend on homeless issues?

    The 60+ million is only the start!

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 16, 2018 11:27 p.m.

    Great work by everyone. "Work" is probably the most important thing to solve the "homeless" problem.
    Not all of them are willing to work, but those who are should be encouraged and assisted.

    There is no shortage of jobs out there now, with help wanted signs on just about every business in the city. If a person is willing to work, they can have a job within a few days. If they show up and work hard they will be able to get even better jobs.

    However, to match the dignity of work and regular wages as incentives, there also need to be "sticks" as disincentives for those lazy or unwilling to work. They should not be allowed to wander around the city panhandling or committing petty crimes. They should be on highway cleanup crews, or washing city vehicles, or doing laundry for the homeless shelters. If they do not want to do any of that, then they need to leave SLC for places which tolerate that sort of irresponsible behavior.

    Again, good job for those making the break, and those helping them!

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2018 8:51 p.m.

    This is great. Yeah. I was downtown night when they started the police action last year. It was very surreal.