How homeless camp cleanups are giving a vulnerable population a way out of homelessness and/or drug abuse and often a help to the people who occupied the camps.
The Pioneer Park Coalition and Salt Lake City contributed $950,000 towards creating a multi-use lawn and installing event and pedestrian lighting. As the Great Lawn will open in Spring 2019, the Coalition is currently collaborating with the Downtown Community Council, Downtown Alliance, City employees, and other stakeholders on redesigning the rest of the park and a public-private partnership proposal.
Six months into Operation Rio Grande, aggregate crime in Salt Lake City decreased 25%, the lowest point for the city since 2013. Every SLC neighborhood examined in our analysis saw its aggregate crime rates diminish or continue falling after Operation Rio Grande, with one exception. In Liberty-Wells, crime rates roughly plateaued or had a slight upward trend—though still below the 2016 peak.
Operation Rio Grande Phase One has been extremely successful in arresting dangerous criminals and disrupting the drug trafficking and usage in the area. In the first two months, 37 treatment beds became available and were all filled with individuals that were arrested as a result of Operation Rio Grande. Those experiencing homelessness have expressed appreciation for how they now feel safe and are accessing services and programs to change their lives.
The Pioneer Park Coalition spent over a year advocating and collaborating with public officials towards an unprecedented operation with commitment and integration on the city, state, county, and private level, with bipartisanship and cooperation. On Monday, August 14th, Phase One of this 2+ year operation went into effect.
The Salt Lake City Council earmarked $200,000 to purchase transportable toilets to relieve the issue of human waste in the park and on the property of local businesses. The council also approved another $380,000 to hire additional social workers and police officers and pay police overtime to address an unprecedented level of violence and crime in the Pioneer Park area.