How Utah Solved Their Homeless Crisis

Photo by Adam Thomas on Unsplash

The Mormon State and Conservatism

In the 1840s, settlers from the Jesus Christ of latter-day saints (LDS) led by Brigham Young migrated west to establish a territory to practice their religion. For over 150 years the Mormon church has played an influential role in the state of Utah. According to the latest Census data 60.68% of state residents are members of the Church, along with 81% of state legislatures and all members of the congressional delegation. From referendums, to environmental laws, to tax policy, to same sex marriage, the church holds a LOT of sway. The buck stops with the LDS.

Utah’s Housing First Program

The Mormon State had a problem. While homelessness is an issue in every state, there is a subset of that called chronic homeless. Chronic Homelessness is where a person has not been a year and have a disability, individuals that are often ignored among policy makers. And they represent 20% of the homeless population. With a growing population and homeless population becoming an issue, something had to be done.

How it Works

The program starts by looking at individuals who are chronically homeless and sees which ones would be the most suitable to adjust to an apartment. They get their name, their age, their marital status, ask if they have any history of drug use, and other personal information. From that list they record where they are currently living at the moment and use that information from their questionnaire to see if they are capable of fully adjusting to modern life with the right social support.

Photo by Brandon Griggs on Unsplash



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A person that really enjoys writing about food, culture, politics, justice, climate change, relationships, and other interesting topics.