LOCAL NEWS

Salt Lake Man Invites Homeless Into Yard, Calls On City To Do More

Feb 2, 2021, 12:39 PM | Updated: 12:40 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A man said he grew upset watching the homeless being pushed from neighborhood to neighborhood in recent months, so he opened up a space for them in his front yard.

“In the middle of January we started up this unsheltered camp to help people struggling with homelessness,” said Darin Mann, who also grows produce on the property for the surrounding community under his non-profit, The Village Cooperative. “It’s been going great so far!”

Mann said he has room on the lawn for up to 15, and multiple tents were spotted on the property Monday.

“That was pretty intense when I had 15 people here, so I think 10 is the sweet spot,” Mann said.

Mann said unsheltered campers have to abide by rules on the property, including no drugs and no violence.

“Or you’re out!” Mann added. “One-strike policy!”

Clean-up efforts in recent months conducted by health workers and escorted by police have been among the reasons homeless campers have relocated—sometimes multiple times.

Michael and Brandy Najera said they had previously stayed near 700 South and Main Street and then 500 South and 1100 West before moving next to Mann’s house.

They said they had been faring pretty well at the new location.

“We actually quit our addictions here,” Brandy Najera said. “It’s been a blessing.”

Mann said he has been frustrated by the city’s and government agencies’ approach to an ongoing homeless crisis in Salt Lake City.

“The city response has just been to push and move unsheltered people around the city,” Mann said. “They lose a lot of their possessions. Any kind of stability they had is gone.”

In a statement, the Salt Lake City mayor’s office said “the issue of homelessness and the pathways out of it are complex.”

“Salt Lake City’s priority is our ongoing work connecting people with the services that exist and create a pathway into permanent housing,” the statement read.

An official with Salt Lake City Police Department said officers were aware of what was happening outside of Mann’s home, but if anything it was a matter for health officials unless anything happened on the property that would require a police response.

Mann said he had been given until Feb. 5 to clean up the camp and then was subsequently given an extension until Feb. 19.

Mann said he doesn’t intend to have an unsheltered camp forever in the yard, but he hoped there were better solutions in general to address the ongoing homeless crisis and specifically there was perhaps a space or land that the city could donate to the homeless to help the situation.

“I’m fed up with the performance of our mayor, and so I’m kind of showing her I can do it on my house, why can’t you do it with all of your city funds — when are you going to do something about it?” Mann said. “If she wants to work with the state and other cities — because I do feel the city is unduly burdened with our homeless crisis — then she should reach out to different non-profits that are doing this work so that we can talk to the legislature. Right now we’re in a session and we can find that solution.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Chopper 5)...
Ayanna Likens

How does Utah’s air quality compare to other states?

Air quality seems to be top of mind for most Utahns. But how does it compare to other states?
17 hours ago
FILE (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)...
Pat Reavy

Missing Massachusetts girl found in Utah; man arrested for alleged human trafficking

A girl listed as missing and endangered from Massachusetts has been found in southern Utah and the man she was with has been arrested for investigation of human trafficking.
17 hours ago
A Clearfield City police truck is in the snow...
Brooke Williams

Police: Man breaks windows of 7 businesses, assaults 3 officers in burglary spree on Antelope Drive

A man is facing several charges after he burglarized seven businesses near Antelope Drive, and assaulted three officers early Wednesday morning, according to Clearfield City police.
17 hours ago
(Google Earth Pro)...
Eliza Pace

Teacher arrested for fraud after keeping Change for Children money

A teacher at Mount Ogden Jr. High School has been arrested for fraud after not distributing Change for Children money and using the school's tax-exempt Sam's Club card.
17 hours ago
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) goes to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes...
Ben Anderson, KSL KSL Sports

Ben Anderson: Yes, Lauri Markkanen will be an All-Star

The NBA is set to announce the All-Star reserves tonight on TNT at 5 pm MT, and Utah Jazz fans should expect Lauri Markkanen to hear his name called.
17 hours ago
Hill Air Force Base, Utah (Photojournalist Meghan Thackrey)...
Madison Swenson

Hill Air Force Base building evacuated due to ‘unusual smell’

A building at Hill Air Force Base was evacuated Thursday morning after an "unusual smell" was detected.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Salt Lake Man Invites Homeless Into Yard, Calls On City To Do More