Salt Lake’s Cure for Homelessness

Salt Lake City has reduced homelessness in Salt Lake City 72% since 2005.  How did they do this?  Comedy Central recently highlighted Utah’s cure and it is pretty simple:  they give homeless people homes.

But doesn’t that cost a lot of money?  Lloyd Pendleton, the director of the Utah Homeless Task Force says it costs $12,000 per person per year.  How can taxpayers absorb such a high figure?  Well, it actually saves money, because the taxpayers are currently paying $20,000 per person per year in emergency room and jail costs.  Utah is one of the most conservative states in the union, but on the other hand, Salt Lake City is dominated by democrats.  The last 5 mayors have been democrat.  Before that, Mayor Conrad Harrison was an independent.  You have to go back more than 40 years to 1974 to find a republican mayor (Jake Garn) concluded his term as mayor of Salt Lake City.

I did a quick search of Lloyd Pendleton and discovered his LinkedIn profile.  Lloyd’s previous employers include the State of Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Seminaries and Institutes of Religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He graduated from Brigham Young University.

Please watch the video.


6 comments on “Salt Lake’s Cure for Homelessness

  1. You forgot a vital part of the policy. Each homeless person is assigned a case worker and given a sense of accountability for getting his or her life together. Just throwing money or a house at a person does not change deeply rooted behaviors that lead to homelessness, but providing individualized support and accountability can.

  2. Thanks for the post… My wife and I live in Virginia. Last year as part of her master’s program in social work, she interned at a homeless shelter in Northern VA. When she first got there she told me about all the people living in the woods with no shelter… so we rounded up about 20 tents from friends, neighbors, local LDS congregatiosn and some other churches. She had them handed out in about 10 minutes or less when she took them into the office. One of the gentlemen she assisted had recently been released from a mental hospital. When he arrived at the shelter he came in business clothes, dress shoes and tie. He said, “I don’t think I’ve ever slept in the woods before.” My wife did a look on the Internet and found that he used to be a stock broker in New York. We got him a tent and tried what we could do to help him… but being mentally ill he is probably still in the woods. So sad… My wife tried to track down his family but never could locate any. The man has a profile on LinkedIn… the business website. So very sad. While in the shelter he always wanted to watch the stock news… Another individual she helped was a woman who had just been released from a hospital after a major surgery. When she arrived at the shelter there were no more beds, so another staffer told her to take the bus to another shelter. A few hours later my wife saw the woman at the bus stop, waiting on a bus that only comes around a couple of times a day. My wife went back to the office and got the woman admitted back into the hospital. What a disgusting way to treat our most vulnerable. I’m glad Utah is leading the way on its homeless solution efforts. While I don’t think we can save them all.. we can certainly improve the lives for most and save money to boot. Thanks again. Jeff Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2015 04:41:55 +0000 To: jeffschrade@hotmail.com

  3. Symphony, I didn’t include it because the Comedy Central video didn’t say anything about it. That’s good to know, thanks!

  4. my name is elder: joshua nathaniel branson i am currently homeless in california but am also a member of the church of jesus christ of later day saints and an elder of the aronic priest hood and i think that giving homes to help the homeless in our community is the best example of church practice of the love that we are commanded to do by jesus him self when you have done it to the least of these my bretheren you have done it unto me says the lord amen

  5. […] began working on the tasks that I had originally planned to do.  I knew I had written a post about how Salt Lake has reduced homelessness considerably, and asked him if he had contacted social services for help.  He had not, because he […]

  6. […] began working on the tasks that I had originally planned to do.  I knew I had written a post about how Salt Lake has reduced homelessness considerably, and asked him if he had contacted social services for help.  He had not, because he […]

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