Claims of homeless population spike along Jordan River

Aug 24, 2017, 7:05 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake City Police Department is responding to social media accounts claiming Operation Rio Grande has shifted many homeless people away from the area near Pioneer Park to camps along the Jordan River.  Officials say it’s hard to verify if these posts are 100 percent accurate.

Just how many people left the Rio Grande area to go to the Jordan River Parkway?  This is extremely hard to verify.  Police Chief Mike Brown went to the area to see it for himself, but, investigators say it’s impossible to know which homeless camps are old and which are new.  However, one man who has lived next to the river for six months says he’s seen the population growth for himself.  “There’s been a migration from there to here.  I don’t know about up the river or down the river, but, at this point in the river, [near North Temple] it’s gone up 400 percent,” he says.

That man can only guess why some homeless people don’t try and get social services given at the Community Connection Center.  He says, “Maybe they feel that they’re not going to get the help they need.”  One homeless woman added, “They only take a certain amount of people.  Do you know how many people are homeless?”

Chief Brown says they knew there would be homeless people that would leave Rio Grande once the operation kicked off.  He also says there will always be people who are hesitant or downright afraid to talk with police.  However, he says there’s no need for people to fear the social workers conducting their outreach efforts.  Brown says, “They now have been joined with social workers from the Division of Workforce Services.  So, they have a group that stays at the CCC, then they go out into the field with referrals from officers.”

He adds that their ultimate goal is to get people back to The Road Home or the CCC so they can get help.  “It’s a lot safer down at the shelter now than it has ever been,” he says.

Today’s Top Stories

Thursday marked the sixth year the pair celebrated the holiday together. Photo credit: 	KTVK/KPHO...
Marianne Garvey, CNN

Young man who was accidentally invited to ‘grandma’s’ Thanksgiving as a teen celebrates 6th year of dinner together

 (CNN) — After an accidental Thanksgiving invite in 2016 introduced Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench, they celebrated yet again. Thursday marked the sixth year the pair celebrated the holiday together. Hinton shared a photo on Twitter, writing “Thanksgiving 2021.” The two first met in 2016 when Dench, from Mesa, Az., sent a text inviting Hinton over for […]
1 day ago
(City Creek Center on Black Friday.  Photo: Paul Nelson)...
Paul Nelson

Analysts expect supply chain problems to boost sales at brick and mortar stores

SALT LAKE CITY — Supply chain problems and online bots are causing headaches for holiday shoppers on this Black Friday.  Some economic analysts say it may be a better idea to shop in-person than online, this year.  However, scalpers seem to be trying to take advantage of brick and mortar stores, also. Supply chain problems […]
1 day ago
utah covid children...
Paul Nelson

Researchers believe ‘omicron’ variant will be in Utah, sooner or later

SALT LAKE CITY – Health officials in Utah say they’re keeping a close eye on the new COVID variant (omicron variant) coming out of South Africa, but how worried should we be in the Beehive State?  Researchers say it’s likely going to come to Utah, the real question is “when?” Omicron variant Officials with the […]
1 day ago
People gather in Waukesha's Cutler Park for a candlelight vigil  for those affected by the Waukesha...
The Associated Press

World races to contain new COVID threat, the omicron variant

The world races to contain a new COVID variant, possibly more dangerous than one before.
1 day ago
university of utah...
Mark Jones

Hate crime at U of U being investigated after students shouted racial slur

A hate crime that happened at the end of September is being investigated by the University of Utah police, involving two students.
1 day ago
car stolen twice in West Valley...
Mark Jones

Attempted robbery at West Valley hair salon leaves one injured, shooter still at large

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — An attempted robbery Friday afternoon at a hair salon in West Valley has authorities searching for an armed gunman. Authorities say the robbery took place at 3500 South and Redwood Road around 2:30 p.m.  According to authorities, a 40-year-old woman suffered a gunshot wound to her leg. It’s considered to […]
1 day ago
Claims of homeless population spike along Jordan River