Salt Lake City is an essential city in the Intermountain West. It is the central city of the state of Utah.
Salt Lake City and Utah have been quite successful in decreasing their homeless population over the last few years, yet homelessness has continued to increase. The city and state have worked together to find more affordable housing and beds for homeless individuals and families. But with this, the cost of living in Utah continues to rise.
Salt Lake City And Homelessness
As Salt Lake City grows, homeless individuals and families increase. Throughout this, Salt Lake City has been held as a success story of a city that has worked hard to curb homelessness but even with this the homelessness rate has seen some increases in the last few years.
The cost of housing in Salt Lake City continues to rise; city officials have asked for help to deal with the issue of homelessness. They have asked business leaders and community officials to help solve homelessness.
Salt Lake City has cleared out many of the homelessness camps in the Salt Lake City area. They have been doing this by getting people into drug addiction treatment centers and providing housing for the homeless.
But this does not mean that the homeless problem is solved as most homelessness resource centers operate near or at capacity, and many still have nowhere to go. Currently, Salt Lake City lacks enough beds for the homeless population.
But what makes the city different from many other cities that deal with the homelessness issue is that Salt Lake City is actively working to build housing facilities and provide beds to help the homelessness issue in the Salt Lake City area.
The city and other civic groups are also looking to create permanent housing units and find ways to have more affordable housing for the homeless who cannot afford the current accommodation price.
Salt Lake City has many programs to help homeless people, including the downtown ambassador program. The ambassador program aims to reach out to the homeless population and help them understand where and how they can find help.
Despite all of this available help, many homeless will refuse any service. Some homeless people don’t want to be in a shelter and would rather be outdoors. Others are dealing with trauma, drugs, or other issues and may not want to live in a shelter.
Utah And Homelessness
Salt Lake City is the largest city in Utah; we can learn a lot about what’s happening in Salt Lake City through the homeless figures in Utah. Utah is one of the states in the United States where the homelessness figures continue to decline.
Salt Lake had a chronic homelessness problem at one time, but the city has brought the numbers down to about 2-4% of its population due to its hard work on the issue. In Utah, homelessness has declined by about 20%.
This shows that a once chronic problem is now being controlled, but it is not eradicated as there have been some slight increases in homelessness. The state aimed to have no homelessness, but they have not been able to reach that goal.
And many predict that due to the pandemic, and the extreme rise in housing in the Utah area, the homelessness problem could worsen. And this is starting to happen as numbers of homelessness is beginning to rise.
Main Causes Of Homelessness
Here are the leading causes of homelessness. Each of these areas can affect the rate of homelessness in a city such as Salt Lake City.
Here are the top reasons for homelessness in Salt Lake City
- Lack of Affordable Housing – Salt Lake City has a problem with rising housing prices. Housing prices could become a driving factor driving homelessness.
- Unemployment or Stagnant Wages – The cost of living increases while the wages don’t increase. In this case, there could be stagnant wages. Unemployment or, for some reason or another, people cannot find jobs, or the job they have is not enough for them to afford their cost of living.
- Poverty – On a global scale, poverty is one of the most significant causes of homelessness worldwide. Poverty can happen due to stagnant wages, unemployment, healthcare, etc.
- Lack of Affordable Healthcare – Unaffordable healthcare can drive people into poverty. Especially if they get sick and are uninsured or underinsured; healthcare can force them to spend vast amounts of money on healthcare they do not have. They may no longer be able to pay for the rent, food, and utilities. One serious accident and injury for an individual’s family could push them into a homelessness situation.
- Mental Illness – Mental Illness is a source of homelessness. If someone can’t get the help they need, they may end up on the streets. A person who has a mental illness may not be able to function and be able to keep a job, a house, or the other necessities of life.
- Substance Abuse – Substance abuse can also drive people to spend their money on drugs instead of housing, food, or daily living. Substance abuse also hurts them because they may be unable to function in a job to earn money.
So even though Salt Lake City has been relatively successful with the homelessness issue compared to many other major cities such as San Francisco, Phoenix, and Los Angeles, Salt Lake City still has to solve its homelessness issue.
As housing costs continue to rise in Salt Lake City, this could also cause more people into homelessness. There will not be enough affordable housing for those who need it.
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Is Salt Lake City Religious?
About 73% of the Salt Lake City population identifies with a religion. Salt Lake City is the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Only about 50% of the population of Salt Lake City are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
How Much Snow Does Salt Lake City Get?
Salt Lake City’s significant snowfall is from mid-November to early March. January is the month that consistently has the highest inches of snowfall per year. Salt Lake City will get considerably less snowfall than some of its surrounding areas as Park City. The reason is that Park City is in implied average compared with other major ski resorts across the American West.