Operation Rio Grande making a difference to many

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah)- A massive effort has been underway to clean up the homeless area in downtown Salt Lake City for a little over a year now.

Operation Rio Grande came in three phases: public safety and restoring order, assessment, and treatment for those struggling with mental health and addiction, and then helping these people get jobs.

Instead of locking those struggling up, Operation Rio Grande gives them an opportunity to go to drug court and get treatment.

One of those treatment facilities is the Odyssey House.

For Erica Sickler, the program is working.

32-year-old Sickler has been addicted to alcohol and meth since she was 15 years old. She was arrested last year in Operation Rio Grande and was placed into the adult residential program at Odyssey House where she stayed for six months.

From there she transitioned to the outpatient program. Sickler graduated from that program this week and next week will graduate from Operation Rio Grande Drug Court.

She has her own apartment now and a full-time job.

Randall Carlisle of Odyssey House and Erica joined us in studio Thursday to discuss the programs of the Odyssey House as well as the struggles and success of Operation Rio Grande.

“I’ve seen miracles at Odyssey House thanks to Operation Rio Grande,” said Carlisle.

Watch the video to hear Erica describe the processes she went through at Odyssey House that put her on the road to recovery. 

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