SLC residents raise concerns about new homeless shelter sites

Posted at 6:02 PM, Dec 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 20:02:18-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office has received hundreds of emails over the past few days, from residents concerned about the locations for the new homeless resource centers.

One of those people who emailed in is Hannah Skeen, who works at Mighty Butlers Moving on 300 West 500 South.

Skeen said she was doing paperwork last week, when she looked out her office window to see a homeless man shooting up heroin.

“It’s graphic almost, shooting up with blood coming out of your arms and then trying to get a vein on your other arm and then moving to the knee," said Skeen.

She said it’s one thing to put up with this sort of dangerous, illegal behavior outside of work, but what about your home?

Her house is a block away from one of the future homeless resource center sites on Simpson Avenue in Sugar House, where Little Scholars Learning Center is currently located.

“Is this what’s going to be in my front yard?  Is there going to be someone on the parking strip trying to find a vein and shooting up in my front yard?," said Skeen.

Skeen wrote the Salt Lake City mayor an email to express her concerns.

“My concern is safety. My concern is my kids being allowed to walk around the block and my son to be able to go next door to my neighbor's house without seeing needles on the street or seeing someone shooting up," said Skeen.

The Mayor's Office said the whole goal of these four new resource centers is to put an end to the drugs and crime for good. The last thing they want is to move the mess on Rio Grande to another part of town.

“Failure can not be an option here, too many lives are at stake both for individuals experiencing homelessness and our communities," said Deputy Chief of Staff David Litvack.

The city will be holding public forums in January, where residents will have a chance to ask questions and get answers regarding the new resource centers.