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Mendenhall appoints new SLC Director of Homelessness Policy

Johnston Mendenhall.jpg
Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 19:01:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall appointed a new member to her team Friday to help battle the city's homelessness problems.

WATCH: Homeless crisis increasing in Salt Lake City, resource centers ineffective

Andrew Johnston, a member of the Salt Lake City Council, accepted the position as Director of Homelessness Policy and Outreach.

In his position, the mayor's office hopes Johnston will help guide the city's homelessness issues, while working with other government agencies to provide resources to Salt Lake City's homeless population.

“Homelessness is one of the most pressing and complicated issues facing our City -- and cities across the nation -- today. The pathways into and out of homelessness are as varied as the individuals who experience it themselves, and how Salt Lake City approaches the issue must be innovative, collaborative, and relentless,” Mayor Mendenhall said.

WATCH: Officials, advocates debate over how to solve Salt Lake's homelessness issues

Johnston is currently serving a second term on the Council, representing District Two.

The city's response to homeless has been criticized recently as activists continue to call on government leaders to stop breaking up camps before shelters are available for all.

WATCH: SLC man sets up homeless camp in his front yard

Rising numbers of homeless in Salt Lake City has been blamed on the pandemic, unaffordable housing and even neighboring cities dropping people off.