Salt Lake City Utah And Homelessness

Homeless People Living at Tent

Salt Lake City is an important 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. There are many reasons for this, and one of them is that the state and city have worked together to find more affordable housing and beds for homeless individuals and families.

Individuals experiencing homelessness were able to get assistance at a Salt Lake City Community Commitment Program Resource Fair on Rio Grande Street by (Rick Egan | Tribune file photo)

Salt Lake City and Homelessness

As Salt Lake City begins to grow, the number of homeless individuals and families increases. Throughout this, Salt Lake City has been held as a success story of a city that has worked hard to curb homelessness.

The cost of housing in Salt Lake City is continuing 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 there are still many people who 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 homeless and cannot afford the current accommodation price. 

Salt Lake City also 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 been able to bring the numbers down to about 2-4% of its population due to their hard work on the issue. In Utah, homelessness has declined by about 20%.

This shows that a once chronic problem is now being controlled. The state had a goal to have no homelessness, but they have not quite reached 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.

Main Causes of Homelessness

Here are the leading causes of homelessness. Each of these areas can affect the rate of homelessness in a city as Salt Lake City.

Here are the top reasons:

  • Lack of Affordable Housing – Salt Lake City has a problem with housing prices rising so fast. Housing prices could become a driving factor to drive up 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 are not able to 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, and many other things.
  • Lack of Affordable Healthcare – The lack of affordable healthcare can drive people into poverty. Especially if they get sick and are uninsured or underinsured; health care can force them to spend vast amounts of money on healthcare that 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 canot 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 and other things instead of housing, food , or their daily living. Substance abuse also hurts them because they may not be able 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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Related Questions

Is Salt Lake City Religious?

About 73% of the Salt Lake City population identify 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.

You can learn more by reading Is Salt Lake City Religious? by clicking here.

How Much Snow Does Salt Lake City Get?

Salt Lake City’s major 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.

You can learn more by reading How Much Snow Does Salt Lake City Get? by clicking here.

Anita L Hummel

Hi, I live in Hanoi, Vietnam but spend time traveling the region. I love to share with you things I see and learn through my travels.

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Salt Lake City Utah And Homelessness