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Operation Rio Grande, the drug and crime crackdown in Salt Lake City began six months ago and the blighted neighborhood outside The Road Home shelter is virtually transformed. 

Whittney Evans/KUER

Special housing is now available in Salt Lake County for about 150 people in addiction recovery. Eligible clients, many of whom were arrested during the crime and drug crackdown Operation Rio Grande, will receive vouchers for up to three months at a sober living home.

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Utah lawmakers say affordable housing will be a top priority in this year’s legislative session, which begins later this month. They say it goes hand-in-hand with ongoing efforts to combat homelessness.

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Crossroads Urban Center is calling for the creation of more shelter and housing options for homeless families in Salt Lake County. They’re releasing a Wednesday that shows the county’s existing services for homeless families are struggling to keep up with demand.

Whittney Evans/KUER

Data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows, in addition to a slight uptick in homelessness this year, more homeless people are going unsheltered. That means they’re sleeping in camps or on the streets.

Whittney Evans/KUER

The latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development show this is the first time homelessness has gone up in Utah in six years.

Whittney Evans

Leaders say the long-term crime and drug crackdown in Salt Lake, Operation Rio Grande, is moving into a new phase. The focus now is getting people to work.

Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is proposing reopening the Oxbow county jail to help with a crackdown on crime in the homeless community.

Tim Slover / KUER

Homeless people in Salt Lake City will be able to access emergency shelter, meals and other services at The Road Home this winter, even if they don’t sign up for the state’s new homeless identification card.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Utah officials presented an update of Operation Rio Grande on Wednesday. That’s the initiative to crackdown on crime and drug activity in downtown Salt Lake City.

Tim Slover / KUER

Experts and organization leaders gathered this week to talk about homeless services at the 14th annual Homelessness Summit in downtown Salt Lake. One of the main topics included trauma among homeless individuals.

Whittney Evans / KUER

Homeless people poured into the Salt Palace Convention Center early Friday morning to get a whole range of services from haircuts to family planning as part of the city’s first annual Project Homeless Connect.

Whittney Evans / KUER

This week, people who were arrested during Operation Rio Grande went before a judge and asked for help. By agreeing to avoid drugs and alcohol, get treatment and check in once a week, they were offered a spot in Salt Lake County’s new drug court.

BCFC via www.istockphoto.com

Salt Lake County’s new specialty drug court will operate the same as existing drug courts. What makes the new court different is the population it serves.

Tim Slover

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski has signed a lease agreement with the state of Utah to close off a portion of Rio Grande Street to cars and pedestrians. At the same time, state officials are preparing to implement a new identification system that will limit access to the street to people receiving services. 

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is looking for of volunteers to help with the city’s first large-scale homeless outreach project. The one-day event will bring dozens of service providers together in one place to offer everything from haircuts to drug abuse counseling.

Whittney Evans

Substance abuse and mental health treatment options will come available over the next four months for individuals identified through Operation Rio Grande.

Lee Hale / KUER

A statewide effort to address crime in Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande neighborhood began Monday. “Operation Rio Grande” has three phases that start with large-scale arrests. 

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The State Homeless Coordinating Committee approved funding Tuesday to purchase the third of three properties where new homeless shelters will be built.

Whittney Evans

The Road Home shelter in Salt Lake City met its state-imposed deadline for moving all families out of the facility by July 15th.

Whittney Evans

State and local leaders have launched a new campaign to curb panhandling, and it doesn’t mince words.

Whittney Evans

The Road Home Shelter in Salt Lake City signed a contract with the state to move every family out of the facility by July 15th or lose funding. Now, the pressure is on to find low-income housing.

Here at The Road Home, 13-year-old Johnathon Whaley rides the big yellow cart he and his mom are using to move their belongings out of the private room they’ve lived in for about eight months. Lorie Tonge and her son have a new one-bedroom apartment-just down the street.

"I'm feeling uplifted knowing that I never gave up," Tonge says.

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Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams wants to move the downtown liquor store. He hopes it will reduce the flow of alcohol into the troubled Rio Grande neighborhood. Officials at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control support the idea but say there are obstacles.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County officials announced additional steps Tuesday for improving public safety in the Rio Grande neighborhood. They called on Salt Lake City officials to get on board.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder will be the new chief of police in Moab. Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison appointed Winder Tuesday morning.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County Council members challenged County Mayor Ben McAdams Tuesday on the transparency of the process for deciding what homeless populations will occupy the new proposed shelters.

Whittney Evans

All Families living at The Road Home shelter in downtown Salt Lake City will move out of the facility by July if all goes as planned. Utah lawmakers on Tuesday approved that recommendation and some additional funding for The Road Home’s Midvale family shelter.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski unveiled her proposed budget Tuesday night for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The plan includes new money for homelessness and affordable housing.

https://www.homelessfacilitysite.org/

Salt Lake County will officially move forward with plans to build a homeless resource center in South Salt Lake. On Monday, a state committee approved the controversial recommendation made by County Mayor Ben McAdams.

Screenshot- homelessfacilitysite.org

Salt Lake County has unveiled five potential locations for a new homeless shelter. Three of the proposed sites are in West Valley City and the other two are in South Salt Lake.

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