A new report from the Legislative Auditor General confirms what Rio Grande group advocates were announcing for years: The drug-fueled chaos that surrounds the Road Home’s refuge doesn’t finish at the refuge door. Some other folks within are capturing up and smoking spice, and that is making it unsafe for everybody.
Auditors lay the blame squarely on The Road Home’s management, and so they name for instant reforms and stepped forward oversight at Rio Grande and in addition at The Road Home’s Midvale circle of relatives refuge and Palmer Court, The Road Home-operated housing complicated in Salt Lake City.
Responding to the audit, The Road Home officers say they’re updating their insurance policies and can work with auditors. They insist they’re screening other folks and no longer tolerating drug use, however they recognize it’s going down.
That reaction used to be unconvincing to Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, who referred to as it “unacceptable,” and to House Speaker Greg Hughes, who stated, “That kind of random enforcement makes no sense to me.”
McAdams and Hughes are proper. The Road Home has tolerated an excessive amount of for too lengthy, and now its credibility is at stake. It has to do better beginning at this time.
But prior to all of us upward push in ethical indignation, there is one essential factor to bear in mind: The Road Home is going the place nobody else will.
The Road Home is what is referred to as a low-barrier-to-entry refuge. It’s in accordance with the core compassion of serving to individuals who aren’t offering for themselves. This contains alcoholics, drug addicts, the mentally sick and others who aren’t in a position or in a position to show their lives round, and would possibly by no means be. They use unlawful medication to blunt their pains, and they have got little to lose if they are trying to sneak their fixes into the refuge.
But we nonetheless want to take a look at to place a roof over their heads.
Much has been made through McAdams, Hughes and others about how the new, smaller shelters may have a unique means than Rio Grande. Residents may have extra services and products and enhance, however they’ll must conform to extra laws and display growth (the upper barrier to access).
That is precisely the proper means for lots of homeless other folks, however no longer a lot has been stated about what occurs to the low-barrier inhabitants when the Rio Grande refuge closes in a yr. They gained’t simply disappear.
The audit makes very transparent that The Road Home wishes to modify, and time is operating out for it to fix the harm prior to state and native leaders surrender on the refuge. But if The Road Home is going away, its clientele nonetheless will likely be amongst us. We can’t audit our approach out of that.