Over the past months there have been many stories in the media about The Road Home. The majority of the stories have told of inspiring volunteers, new programs and exciting changes. There have also been some that have reported misperceptions about our agency. I would like to address some of these so that you can better get to know our agency and the important work we do.
One misconception is that crime on Rio Grande Street is directly related to the shelter’s location. While this is an easy association to make, it is not a correct one. The Road Home works closely with the Salt Lake Police Department to create a safe environment for the people we serve. We do this in a number of ways. Inside of the shelter we have a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol, which begins with searching residents for contraband prior to entering the shelter. We have secured 24/7 private security to monitor the inside of the shelter. Additionally, our private security assists outside by monitoring the area around the shelter; however the issues are great and it will take more than private security alone. Our partnership with local law enforcement is vital to keeping people safe in our area. We truly appreciate our relationship with the Salt Lake Police Department and we embrace the implementation of their new strategy which focuses on maintaining order in our neighborhood. We are grateful for Interim Chief Mike Brown and Deputy Chief Josh Scharman for their leadership. We have seen visible improvement since they began their efforts.
Another great misperception is that shelter enables people to remain homeless. A lack of affordable housing is what drives people to become and remain homeless. We must make a concerted effort as a city, county, state and nation to create housing which people of modest means can truly afford. Only then will we make lasting change and progress toward combating homelessness.
The Road Home is here to serve people with emergency services, case management, and housing. We continually strive to modify and enhance our programs to best serve the needs of our community and those struggling to overcome homelessness. To learn more about The Road Home, who we are and what we do, please visit our website at www.theoradhome.org.
- Matt M. Minkevitch, Executive Director