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Old 09-29-2007, 09:54 PM
 
1 posts, read 8,111 times
Reputation: 12
Default Major Homeless Problem In SLC

I just finished a 4 day conference in SLC and what a nice town it is. The downtown area is clean and there are many friendly working-class people who frequent the area. The one thing that has totally shocked me is the vast amount of bums/panhandlers! They are crawling all over the downtown area. My first morning while walking to the conference I ran into several creepy dudes who asked me for money. There was another laying on a park bench with a pile of "Old Style" beer cans next to him. What a contrast to such a clean downtown area. I do realize that these poor folks have experienced a great deal of misfortune, etc. But come on! The cops ought to be taking these guys to some kind of shelter or something. The whole four days I walked all over the downtown area and after giving away roughly $40 in one dollar bills I finally decided to "Just say no". So there I am eating Mcdonald's in the MCZI Center and these dudes come up to me and ask for a handout. I told them no and then the older of the two guys turns away from me and muttered something that rhymed with "pucker". So then I say "Excuse me, what did you say???" The younger of the two guys then grabbed the other and walked him away from me. I am 6' 200lbs of pure steel and this guy had no problem harassing me. I can just imagine what kind of grief these dudes give women and the elderly. Sorry for the negative undertones of this very first post of mine, but I have to vent. SLC needs to clean up the garbage floating around on it's streets.

 
Old 09-29-2007, 10:21 PM
 
421 posts, read 1,117,770 times
Reputation: 117
It bothers me, too, but I have no idea what can be done about it. I have heard that the citizens in this area tend to be a soft touch. Maybe that's why there are so many homeless staying in the area?
 
Old 09-30-2007, 10:44 AM
 
1,125 posts, read 2,324,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcw320 View Post
The one thing that has totally shocked me is the vast amount of bums/panhandlers! They are crawling all over the downtown area.
You will see this problem in any city in the US where tourist are common. It is even worse in SLC, because Mormons are seen as compassionate and a soft touch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcw320 View Post
I do realize that these poor folks have experienced a great deal of misfortune, etc.
Some of these folks have mental disorders, such as schizophrenia. I disagree with sociologist and psychiatrist in their claims that all of these people suffer from mental health problems. Most are long time alcohol and drug abusers and their problems are self inflicted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcw320 View Post
But come on! The cops ought to be taking these guys to some kind of shelter or something.
There is very little a police department can do with a panhandler that is in keeping with the Constitution. The courts have consistently ruled that asking for money on the streets is perfectly legal as long as the panhandler does not block your passage. Public intoxication to the point where the individual cannot care for his or her safety can result in arrest or detention in a detoxification center. Being under the influence of drugs can produce the same consequences. Persons with mental health problems can be detained for psychiatric evaluation.

All of this sounds great, but most panhandlers cannot be shown to be overly intoxicated, few will actually get in your path and not let you pass, drug influence is not always obvious, and after a while police departments stop taking people to mental health, because mental health authorities do not hold these people unless they are totally deranged and dangerous. No, schizophrenics who hold conversations with themselves in public do not qualify as totally deranged and dangerous.

With the exception of being under the influence of Schedule I, II, and some Schedule III drugs, all of the above potential offenses are all misdemeanors and require either a citizens arrest or the officer must witness the offense. Few citizens are willing to invest the time to testify after making a citizen’s arrest and officers can’t be everywhere at once.

Some cities have used judicial restraining orders against habitual offenders to keep them out of an area, but they must be arrested several times for criminal offenses, and as I wrote, panhandling is not a criminal offense. Any procedure to control beggars and panhandlers is extremely time and labor intensive.

Finally, these people do not care whether they are arrested. They get a hot meal and warm cot for the night. They are not afraid to return to their favorite area and get arrested again. The result is the same hot meal and warm cot. Until these folks are sentenced to long term confinement under extremely hard labor—in short, make jail highly unpleasant—these folks will continue to plague downtown SLC.
 
Old 09-30-2007, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
15,387 posts, read 21,475,919 times
Reputation: 8509
A number of years ago......the Mayor of SLC...came up with a brilliant idea.....buy em a bus ticket to Las Vegas [one way].......still haven't forgiven him for that
 
Old 09-30-2007, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
7,728 posts, read 8,405,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynimagelv View Post
A number of years ago......the Mayor of SLC...came up with a brilliant idea.....buy em a bus ticket to Las Vegas [one way].......still haven't forgiven him for that
Which Mayor was that?
 
Old 10-01-2007, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
378 posts, read 1,239,550 times
Reputation: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynimagelv View Post
A number of years ago......the Mayor of SLC...came up with a brilliant idea.....buy em a bus ticket to Las Vegas [one way].......still haven't forgiven him for that
Yeah that was a great idea haha! It was one of my favorite things Rocky Andersen did as Mayor. I'm really worried about the homeless problem at the Gateway mall. There are just too many kids there to be next to a homeless shelter. I know the homeless shelter was there first, but it's time to more the shelter further west before something really bad happens. The homeless around the Temple downtown are pretty friendly and I normally give a dollar or two to those that are visibly handicapped. SLC has many homeless shelters and as was stated above...SLC's friendly hand encourages more and more to come to SLC for help.
 
Old 10-01-2007, 11:59 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
7,728 posts, read 8,405,032 times
Reputation: 5862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elder_Shawn View Post
Yeah that was a great idea haha! It was one of my favorite things Rocky Andersen did as Mayor. I'm really worried about the homeless problem at the Gateway mall. There are just too many kids there to be next to a homeless shelter. I know the homeless shelter was there first, but it's time to more the shelter further west before something really bad happens. The homeless around the Temple downtown are pretty friendly and I normally give a dollar or two to those that are visibly handicapped. SLC has many homeless shelters and as was stated above...SLC's friendly hand encourages more and more to come to SLC for help.
Another thing to blame Rocky Anderson for.
 
Old 10-02-2007, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
15,387 posts, read 21,475,919 times
Reputation: 8509
Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonwood2420 View Post
Which Mayor was that?
Don't know the name but it was about 10-15 yrs ago.....
 
Old 10-02-2007, 02:20 PM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,389,916 times
Reputation: 750
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynimagelv View Post
Don't know the name but it was about 10-15 yrs ago.....
It was right before the 2002 Olympics to give the city a cleaner image.
 
Old 10-02-2007, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
15,387 posts, read 21,475,919 times
Reputation: 8509
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
It was right before the 2002 Olympics to give the city a cleaner image.
Yep....we're just lettin em get a little dirtier before we ship em back
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