Who gets homeless men?

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) Now that the 3 sites for new homeless resource centers have been decided, the next controversial decision is which segment of the homeless population goes where.

All the experts talk about high impact and low impact segments of the homeless. Single men are way out in front of the high impact category. They are responsible for the most violence, bad behavior and overall crime. So the decision of which resource center will deal with them is a difficult one that no one seems to want to address right now.

Monday Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said the South Salt Lake site is more suited to low impact homeless people. That would seem to mean, by default, that one of the two sites in Salt Lake City will get single men. They are where the Deseret Industries Store is near 7th South and State Street, and the High Avenue site near 300 West and 14th South.

Good 4 Utah’s Randall Carlisle asked Lt. Governor Spencer Cox if they will get the single men. Cox says simply “I think that’s a comfortable assumption, but no decision has been made.”

David Litvack, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Salt Lake Mayor’s office wouldn’t answer directly when Carlisle asked him “do you accept the fact that Salt Lake City will get single men at one of those two places?” His reply? “I think there’s further discussion that needs to be had.”

Mayor McAdams says a decision on who gets the single men will probably be made in the next few months.

The other question is will the centers be ready by June of 2019 when The Road Home will close. Groundbreaking for the South Salt Lake site and the Deseret Industries site is expected next spring. Construction could begin on the High Avenue site later this year, but all 3 need to be ready in just 27 months.  That will be a tight squeeze but Lt. Governor Spencer Cox is confident. “We feel comfortable that we’ll still be able to meet that deadline.”

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