Homelessness is one of the main problems the Utahns face. The number of unhoused individuals keeps increasing yearly. These people always suffer under poor living conditions and healthcare. But can someone do something?
Fortunately, it is the first time the county and state officials believe homelessness in Utah can be solved. The officials from Utah recently visited Miami, Florida. They benchmarked how those leaders work collaboratively to shelter the homeless. They also visited Miami to learn how the officials there help those struggling with different mental conditions and prevent them from going through the system over and over.
According to the Mayor of Salt Lake City, Mendenhall, Miami’s collaborative culture has led to better housing for the residents and taxpayers. He believes the same approach can work in Utah to solve homelessness. Miami officials spend parts of the revenue collected to cater to the high-end needs to improve the lives of individuals. They offer stable housing, better case management, and easy access to healthcare services, including mental health. Mendenhall said that is not the case in Utah, where those struggling with mental health go through a criminal justice system that does not benefit them.
The meeting in Miami had dignitaries from the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. It took place just an hour before former Mayor Rocky Anderson officially announced his bid to run for another term at city hall. Anderson attacked Mendenhall for not performing his duty during his two terms in the office to solve the housing problem in the city. He also listed a few challenges facing Utah, including high crime rates, cruelty towards homeless individuals, and poor living conditions.
Anderson’s speech during the announcement of his bid was lengthy, and he talked much about the failures of Mendenhall. He cited the Mayor’s lack of plans to solve various challenges the Utahns are facing, especially the unsheltered. And as everyone knows, the state, county, and city’s efforts to settle the homeless started just the previous year. But the Mayor assured people the collaborative approach, which has worked elsewhere, will solve the problem.