Our Commitment to Our City
Salt Lake City and its community partners are working hard to address the ongoing challenge of homelessness. We recognize that there is no single solution when helping those in need and are implementing both long- and short-term solutions with the goal of creating safety for everyone in our public spaces.
We are committed to:
- Treating all people with respect, including those experiencing homelessness, residents, business owners and visitors.
- Maintaining public spaces that are clean, safe and accessible to all.
- Using law enforcement intervention only when criminal activity needs to be addressed.
What is the Community Commitment Program?
A two-phased, outreach-focused effort to provide safe and accessible outdoor spaces, while helping our unsheltered neighbors access resources.
Phase One: Clean Neighborhoods
Clean Neighborhoods was launched on September 14 and is a 12-week enhanced cleaning program for neighborhoods in need of trash and bio-waste removal. The area selected for the current clean up were identified as hot spots based on requests made to Citysourced (SLCMoblie.)
Phase 2: Encampment Outreach
Beginning on October 5th, the City launched a focused outreach effort to address encampment concerns and the broader needs of our unsheltered neighbors, including providing access to mental health and substance abuse treatment providers, the Homeless Resource Centers, advocacy groups, and residents and businesses who want to help.
The City is collaborating with the Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD), the Salt Lake City Community Connections Center (CCC), social workers and public safety officers, legal defenders and the Salt Lake City Justice Court in this effort.
What is the goal?
Our goal is to ensure that public spaces are clean, safe, and accessible to all residents while providing resources and follow-up to those individuals experiencing homelessness.
Who are SLC's Community Partners?
The City works closely with multiple homeless service agencies that provide emergency shelter and housing, detox and substance use treatment and other residential assistance program. We also work closely with the Salt Lake County Health Department and law enforcement.
Colder winter months dramatically increase the challenges and risks for unsheltered persons and outdoor living, so we have placed a priority on helping individuals access housing or temporary shelter.
The City is actively working with the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness on a winter shelter overflow plan. Beyond the need for permanent or temporary shelter, the Community Commitment Program is focused on helping access support services so that they can achieve greater stability in their lives.
Some areas of Salt Lake City have become congregation points for those who are experiencing homelessness and those who would take advantage of vulnerable individuals. This has resulted in significant impacts on neighborhoods and businesses in those areas.
When and Where?
Phase One of the Community Commitment Program which was focused on neighborhood cleanups, began on September 14th. Phase Two, which is focused on outreach and encampment concerns began on October 5th.
What kind of help is offered?
Outreach workers are helping to connect individuals with housing opportunities, general and mental health care, substance abuse treatment, legal assistance, and temporary shelter.
What happens after outreach?
Following the outreach program, a date will be set to clean up several larger encampments which present more significant health and safety risks for all. Next, the City will host a Resource Fair to further encourage individuals to move indoors and provide additional access to basic needs and harm reduction service provider and other government agencies.
What are the challenges?
Assisting those experiencing homeless is different with each and every person. Not everyone can or will accept help, and we believe in respecting an individual’s choice and capacities. Still, we are committed to ongoing outreach and service support so that we can help as many as possible.
What will the long term outcomes be?
Homelessness in our community will be an ongoing issue that takes great time, care, and resources in order to solve. Salt Lake City and County governments are focused on concurrent efforts of on-going outreach and ensuring neighborhood cleanliness and safety. Ultimately, we want to see people receive help. We are committed to providing safe and accessible public spaces.
What can you do to help?
If someone in your neighborhood needs help or if a problem develops, you can report your concern through Salt Lake City’s mobile app ( iPhone / Android ) or call our Homeless Engagement and Response Team at 801-535-7712.
We are happy to respond and work with you.
Please do not take donations of food or clothing to those living in area encampments. Instead, we invite you to consider volunteering or donating to one our community partner organizations who provide homeless services.