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Homeless Service Providers Ask for $30 Million Bond to Address Homelessness, Crime

Whittney Evans

Officials with Crossroads Urban Center have a plan to advance the fight against homelessness and drug trafficking in the downtown area. It begins with a $30 million dollar Salt Lake City bond proposal. 

Glenn Bailey is executive director of Crossroads Urban Center. He says the organization worked with other homeless service providers in the area to hash out the details. Bailey hopes Mayor Ralph Becker and the city’s Homeless Services Site Evaluation Commission will support the proposal.

“We want to see a bigger focus on housing,” Bailey says. “That’s not part of the mayor’s commission’s agenda. So in that sense, this plan goes beyond that. IN another sense, I think that we’re trying to say that we think the services should be downtown. We already have them in a good location. Let’s make it better.”

The plan also includes closing Rio Grande Street to through traffic, giving service providers and the police more control of the area. 

If approved by voters, the $30 million bond would help pay for a new shelter for families and women and an overhaul of the services that already exist along the Rio Grande corridor. It would cost the average homeowner about $1.50 per month. Bailey says that’s a good deal.

“Now as a resident of Salt Lake City and a homeowner, I think it’s something we should do and that my tax money would be well spent,” Bailey says. “Other people may feel differently. I know that the city wanted to float a 150 million dollar bond for open space. In my view this is a higher priority.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says he’s not ready to commit to any plans until after his commission completes its work at the end of the year. Jackie Biskupski, Becker’s opponent in the Mayor’s race said in a statement she supports the provider’s plan but adds the county and state should be involved in the negotiations. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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