Scathing audit of Road Home released, claiming lax management led to drug use, safety concerns and poor health conditions

May 15, 2018, 9:46 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm

homeless jobs...

FILE: People gather outside The Road Home in Salt Lake City Photo credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — State leaders have stalled funding for the road home until they can review a scathing audit released today.

The Audit began in January and found, “troubling allegations regarding drug use, safety concerns, poor health conditions and mismanagement at the downtown shelter.”

“Some of these issues that were brought forward in this audit have been issues for a long time,”aid Utah House Speaker, Greg Hughes, in a legislative audit subcommittee today.

He said he’s spent some time down at the Road Home and heard stories from residents, but assumed those stories were exaggerated or anecdotal.

“I wish they were in here right now because I don’t think people have heard them to the degree they should have been heard,” Hughes said. “I regret that.”

They included one situation where a man was arrested inside the home with a gun, drugs and paraphernalia. This was especially concerning because, under Road Home rules, residents bags and coats are searched before they enter the home and officials are supposed to use a magnetic wand on everyone entering the building to check for weapons.

“In actual practice, we observed the screening often consists of little more than waving the magnetic wand over the coat pockets,” the report stated.

The audit found the shelters did well managing health standards in the building, but found several health and security violations at Palmer Court including broken locks and security cameras that had been tampered with. It also noted that rent at Palmer Court is “optional”.
“We found that 69 percent of the residents are behind in their rent payments. In fact, the total unpaid debt obligation by all residents is currently $438,000,” the report said.

In a multi-page response, the Road Home said they will do better in the future.

“Thanks in part to this audit process, we have already learned of areas where we can improve in the delivery of service we provide,” The Road Home said in the response.

In front of the legislative committee meeting, Tuesday, Road Home Executive Director, Matt Minkevitch, added to that statement, telling lawmakers they need more collaborators and help from elected officials to make those changes.

“10 years ago we had four thousand people coming to us. That number has doubled. The facility hasn’t changed,” Minkevitch said, “It used to be- you’re caught with a needle, you are out for a year. It doesn’t make sense right now because we have nowhere to refer that individual.”

Last week, the State Homeless Coordinating Committee voted to only approve 1/6th of the Road Home’s funds until after it the audit can be addressed in August. That left the Road Home with just 750 thousand of the typical 4.5 million dollars. The committee said those funds should allow services to continue uninterrupted until they have a chance to review the audit thoroughly.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a Republican campaign ...

WILL WEISSERT Associated Press

Haley says she raised $12M in February, can’t point to long-term plan to beat Trump

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Friday that she raised $12 million in February, a haul that will likely allow her to remain in the Republican primary against former President Donald Trump past next week's Super Tuesday — even though she can't point to an upcoming state where she expects to beat him.

8 minutes ago

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Scot Peterson shown, a school arming school staff is aw...

Curt Gresseth

Lawmaker talks about arming school workers, despite studies saying guards don’t prevent gun violence

Arming school workers will lead to safer schools, says a Utah lawmaker whose bill awaits the governor's pen to become law.

2 hours ago

Chief of Police for Price City Police Department, Brandon Sicilie, holding PeeDee....

Britt Johnson

Abandoned puppy finds a home at the Price Police Department

PeeDee, a puppy found on the side of a roadway during a dispatch call, has found a new home with the Price City Police Department.

5 hours ago

great salt lake shown, a bill to preserve the lake has passed...

Adam Small

Utah Legislature passes massive bill aimed at helping Great Salt Lake

This bill subjects mineral extraction companies to the same rules as every other water user in Great Salt Lake Basin.

5 hours ago

Tulips are bulbs that you plant in the fall so they can be ready in the spring. They typically come...

Michelle Lee

It’s time for tulips to bloom

Tulips are getting ready to bloom. If you planted these in the fall, your garden will soon be filled with bright and colorful bulbs.

6 hours ago

ksl movie show review host steve salles next to dune part two poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Dune: Part Two’ is a masterclass in cinematic world-building

In this KSL Movie Show review, we dive into the larger-than-life world of "Dune: Part Two," which picks up where the first part left off.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Scathing audit of Road Home released, claiming lax management led to drug use, safety concerns and poor health conditions