SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC4) – It’s a last resort for those with nowhere else to go. Camp Last Hope is being set up on the west side of Salt Lake City in the area of 1276 south and 500 West.
The unsheltered began setting up the camp on Monday. It was just days after the Salt Lake County Health Department and police removed camps from Rio Grande on 400 south on December 10th.
Tyeise Bellamy works directly with the unsheltered.
“They call it Camp Last Hope because they feel like this is their last hope,” says Bellamy. “If they get pushed from here with no where else to go, then what will we do?”
She says right now, around 60 people are staying in the camp ranging from ages 18 to 62-years-old.
“We have people that have been trafficked,” says Bellamy. “We have people that are running from domestic violence situations. If you’re a stay at home mother, and he provides the income and you decide you can’t take the beaten anymore. You leave. You’re out here. You’re going to have more people out here for those reasons then what people assume.”
“We’re not out here because we’re addicts. You know? They judge us because we have mental issues.”
Among the people staying in Camp Last Hope is 42-year-old “Bless.”
She’s three to four months pregnant, and has yet to receive prenatal care.
“We’re not asking for money,” says Bless. “Help us to just be able to survive through the winter. Do what you can. Get us housing especially for us pregnant women out here. Right now, we’re all just fighting for our lives.”
In response to this report, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall says, “The State has acknowledged that homelessness is a statewide issue and has begun some important steps to improve the funding and governance of the system. As the capital city, Salt Lake will likely always be the nexus of services for individuals experiencing homelessness. While we welcome that responsibility, it’s critical that the State and our sister jurisdictions do their part-allowing winter shelter, creating affordable housing, and funding services, to name a few critical pieces-in order to ensure that we have what is needed to serve all people experiencing homelessness. So far, the support is insufficient across the board.”