SALT LAKE CITY- Salt Lake City officials removed two camps used by people experiencing homelessness on Wednesday. One homeless camp was near 600 West and 100 South and the other was near State Street and 700 South.
Salt Lake City’s Homeless Engagement and Response Team routinely try to contact residents of the camps to connect them with opportunities for jobs, housing, medical care and other resources. However, the camps have persisted in several neighborhoods.
At the 600 West homeless camp, Jack King told KSL-TV he’d been living on the streets for about a year.
“It doesn’t solve anything,” he said. “It’s just moving the problem somewhere else. All these people, it’s just their lives that they tore up.”
The city’s policy on the camps has been strongly criticized by activists like Tyeise Vellamy from the Black Lives for Humanity Movement. She told KSL-TV there’s one answer to the problem — housing.
“This process of signing them up and then telling them, ‘OK, in a couple of years, if we can find you, we’ll let you know’ has got to stop. People need housing and they need it now.”
Neighbors near some of the camps have complained about crime and sanitation issues. Police are investigating the fatal shooting of Ryan Prendergast at one of the camps near 900 South and 500 West that occurred earlier this week.
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