LOCAL NEWS

Salt Lake County Officials, Volunteers Conduct Homelessness Survey

Jan 25, 2020, 7:08 PM | Updated: 8:34 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – More than 250 volunteers hit the streets in the middle of the night to paint a picture of homelessness in Salt Lake County.

In the annual Point-In-Time Count, community members joined the Volunteers of America to survey those sleeping on the streets Saturday.

According to officials with the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office, the volunteers had more than 500 interactions with homeless individuals.

Map of areas targeted across Salt Lake County and interactions with homeless individuals.

While those were preliminary numbers and there could be duplicated interactions, local leaders agreed the number of interactions was too high.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson walked the streets at 4 a.m. handing out flyers to those without a safe place to sleep.

“Anyone who needs a bed will get a good night’s sleep,” she said, referring to the new overflow shelter in Sugar House

Wilson talked to several individuals who are categorized as “street homeless.” She said none of them were reckless or belligerent.

“They were very polite,” Wilson said. “They were looking for housing and they weren’t using. The people I interfaced with were healthy, and they want to be on a path to success.”  

Wilson acknowledged the decision to close the downtown Salt Lake City shelter operated by The Road Home in November, with winter on the doorstep, has had a bumpy start.

“We are getting there,” she said.  “There is a lot of work to be done, but we have all the people in the right place now and it’s a much safer environment.”

Wilson and other volunteers started in the Sugar House area and worked their way to the Rio Grande District early Saturday morning.

“I was happy to see there were not a lot of people at Sugar House Park. There were none in Fairmount Park in the hours we were there,” Wilson said. “This is a front-burner issue for me. I have an entire team at the county working on the homelessness crisis.”

Salt Lake County officials were working on an app that will detail the homeless jail population, the homeless street count and homeless shelter numbers. This daily information will give officials the most up-to-date data to better combat the issue. 

Salt Lake County officials also said they saw more volunteers participate in this January’s homeless count project than ever before. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Layton police responding to a barricaded suspect in an apartment building. (Courtesy: Phoenix Antho...
Michael Houck

SWAT arrest fugitive who hid in an Layton apartment complex

A wanted fugitive is in police custody after hiding out in a Layton apartment complex Sunday afternoon.
21 hours ago
Guest Haus, one of the six businesses, taking part of the recycling pilot program....
Shelby Lofton

Park City introduces reusable food container pilot program

Tossed food take-out containers could be a thing of the past for Park City as it's launching a pilot program that reimagines the doggie bag.
21 hours ago
The three car crash, causing roads to be blocked on SR-36. (Courtesy: Colleen Shuman)...
Michael Houck

Three vehicle crash closes portion of SR-36, one person flown to hospital

One person has serious injuries after a crash caused a trailer to flip and strike another vehicle Sunday afternoon.
21 hours ago
Wildlife officials responding to the cougar incident....
Michael Houck

Trail runner hurt by cougar in Millcreek Canyon, DWR searching for the animal

Wildlife officials are looking for a cougar that hurt a runner after it was startled Sunday morning.
21 hours ago
Paraglider crashed into mountain and was hoisted to the U of U in critical condition....
Brooke Williams

Life Flight responds to critical condition paragliding crash up Olympus Cove Sunday

Paraglider crashed into mountain and was hoisted by Life Flight to the U of U in critical condition.
21 hours ago
FILE (KSL TV)...
Brooke Williams

Stolen vehicle fled from UHP at traffic stop and crashed

A vehicle, which was stolen out of Sandy, was to be pulled over by UHP when it fled and crashed with other cars.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Salt Lake County Officials, Volunteers Conduct Homelessness Survey